Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Famous Black Firsts: Alexander Lucius Twilight

Alexander Lucius Twilight not only has one of the coolest names ever created, he was also the first Black person in the US to get a degree from college. Born on September 23rd 1795 in Corinth, Vermont his parents were both free. His father was mixed race and a Revolutionary War veteran. 

When he was 8 he started working on a nearby farm and until he was 20 read and learned mathematics. From there for the next six years he completed all secondary school courses and the first two of college level courses. When he graduated in 1823 it wasn't even widely known that he was the first Black to get a baccalaureate degree until someone else claimed that they were three years later. He began a career as a teacher in New York while studying theology and ministry. 

After four years of teaching he moved to Vermont to continue teaching during the week and holding church services on the weekend. In 1829 he was hired as a principal and served as a minister. He then raised money and designed a dormitory for out of town students. In 1836 he was elected to the Vermont General Assembly making him the first Black to be elected to state legislature.

Click here for previous Famous Black Firsts.  

No comments: