Black History 365 – First African American to command a U.S. ship

First African American to command a U.S. ship: Captain Michael Healy. (He identified and lived as white due to his mixed racial heritage)

First African American to command a U.S. ship: Captain Michael Healy. (He identified and lived as white due to his mixed racial heritage)

In 2016 for my Black History 365 series, I explore the obvious and not so obvious parts of American history that those called Black have taken part in. The things that we (Black people) have done other than be stolen from our homeland and made forced labor in a land foreign to us. I’m going to start this series by looking up the first time someone African-American did something and broke the color barrier in that activity or field. I’ll be starting with Wikipedia and working my way out:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_African-American_firsts

I will be learning a lot of this as I go since I am a product of the standardized Euro/Anglo/Caucasian leaning public school system. I hope you enjoy learning with me. I’ll be going down the list chronologically as it appears in the Wikipedia article.

If you have any other sources or additional information for this topic, please share in the comments. I also welcome any and all comments and discussion. Thanks for reading!

From Wikipedia:

Michael Augustine Healy (September 22, 1839 – August 30, 1904) was an American captain in the United States Revenue Cutter Service (predecessor of the United States Coast Guard).

Following U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward’s Alaska purchase of the vast region in 1867, Healy patrolled the 20,000 miles (32,000 km) of Alaskan coastline for more than 20 years, earning great respect from the natives and seafarers alike. After commercial fishing had depleted the whale and seal populations, his assistance with introduction of Siberian reindeer helped prevent starvation among the native Alaskans.

Nicknamed “Hell Roaring Mike”, Healy has been identified as the first man of African-American descent to command a ship of the United States government. He identified as white Irish American during his lifetime, as he was majority white in ancestry and grew up in Irish Catholic culture. The author Jack London was inspired by his command of the USRC Bear. Commissioned in 1999, the USCGC Healy was named in his honor.

(for more read the full wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_A._Healy)

 

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