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Black History: Special Delivery!!

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“I’m Simply A Strong Black Woman.” -Maxine Waters

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Burl Toler: 1st African American NFL Official

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

 

bud-toler
Bud Toler (1928-2009) 1st African American NFL Official

 

Burl Toler (1928-2009) takes his place in history as the very first African American official in the National Football League (NFL).  Toler is also known for his career as a college football player at the University of San Francisco.  The team was undefeated and untied in 1951 but was denied a bowl game because of their refusal to leave two African American players behind, Burl Toler and Ollie Matson.  Toler later became a 9th round draft pick for the Cleveland Browns but never played a game for the team due to a knee injury he sustained in a college game.

Toler began officiating for the NFL in 1965; making him the first African American official in a major American professional team sport.  Toler’s career spanned 25 years as a head linesman and field judge in the NFL.  He was also the first African American official to work in a Super Bowl Game.  Toler retired in 1990.

While Toler was the first African American official in the NFL.  Johnny Grier was the first African American to be an NFL referee.  In professional football there are several on-field officials.  Many times, these roles can be referred to as a “referees”.  So technically speaking, Grier was the first African American “referee” in the NFL.  However, Toler remains the first African American official in the NFL.  Toler died at the age of 81 in 2009.

 

Sources:

http://thegrio.com/2009/08/21/first-black-nfl-official-dies-at-81/

http://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Burl-Toler-NFL-s-first-black-official-dies-3288983.php

25th Infantry Bicycle Corp: Black Soldiers On Wheels

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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U.S. Army 25th Infantry Bicycle Corp

 

The 25th Infantry Bicycle Corp was formed in 1869. It was one of four African American military units serving as a peacekeeping force west of the Mississippi. The black soldiers were known as “Buffalo Soldiers”. The unit was originally stationed in Texas until 1880. It then moved to the Dakota Territory and then eight years later the unit moved to Fort Missoula, Montana. The soldiers were used as guards and peacekeepers during railroad and mine strikes. They also fought forest fires in Montana and Idaho. The development of the chain driven safety bicycle in 1874 and in 1888 the pneumatic tire invention increased the use of bicycle for sports and leisure piqued the interest of the military as a possible method of transport.

The U.S. Army began experimenting with the use of bicycles in 1896 deploying the 25th Infantry to pilot its efforts. The newly formed group was initially comprised of eight black enlisted officers and their white commander, Lieutenant James A. Moss. The 25th Infantry was given its first long distance assignment of riding north to Lake McDonald and back. The trip was a “test” to see how they would bicycles would perform. It was distance of 126 miles. The trip took 3 days. The Infantry encountered extremely challenging weather including heavy rain, fierce winds, and deep mud. The group experienced flat tires and may other issues with their bikes. Again in August 15, the group conducted another test run. Leaving Fort Missoula they headed for Yellowstone Park. It was a ten day trip of 500 miles. They remained in Yellowstone for 5 days before returning to Fort Missoula. The groups speed in covering the terrain was impressive. They averaged 6 miles per hour over the roughest and steepest part of the terrain. Continue reading “25th Infantry Bicycle Corp: Black Soldiers On Wheels”

Happy Founders Day Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

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Happy FOUNDERS DAY to all my Sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha!   Service to all mankind since 1908!

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AWESOME! Mortician Opens Fresh Food Store Because He Was Tired Seeing People Die

Mortician Erich March was tired of seeing people in his East Baltimore community die of conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

Source: AWESOME! Mortician Opens Fresh Food Store Because He Was Tired Seeing People Die

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