Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Famous Black Firsts: Boston Police Horatio Julius Homer

There isn't a lot of information about today's FBF, Horatio Julius Homer. He grew up on a farm in Farmington, Connecticut. In 1873 he worked in a shoe factory and then a steamship in Boston. By 1878 he was assigned as a patrolman. Now, I have never been to Boston. Have no desire to go to Boston. But what I do know about Boston is that I do not like their accents and that there is a lot of racism there. So the fact that Homer became the first Black police officer in Boston that long ago is pretty damned incredible. By 1895 he was made a sergeant. 

Over a 40 year career he worked for about a dozen commissioners. It is said that he like Greek literature, was a Republican, and memorized a poem each day. The main reason any of this information about him is even known is because in 2010 Margaret Sullivan, a Boston police archivist, and Bob Anthony an officer in East Boston did the homework. After that, his unmarked grave was finally treated with proper respect.

Click here for previous Famous Black Firsts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The main reason Sgt. Homer was even recognized here in Boston was because those of us at MAMLEO (Mass. Assoc. of Minority Law Enforcement Officers) were, and have been, making sure that ALL people in our community, and others, know the struggle we (as Black Officers) went through and continue to go through. We arranged for Sgt. Homer's daughters to come to Boston in order to recognize him (with a dedication ceremony). And we also petitioned for (and received) his name on a street sign in front of our association headquarters.