Wednesday, February 15, 2017

African Americans in U.S. Diplomatic Service

In honor of Black History Month, have a look at some of the links below. Most Americans can probably name the two prior African-American Secretaries of State. Right? But did you also know that Frederick Douglass served on a diplomatic mission in the Dominican Republic in 1899? Or that the first African-American consul was assigned to the exotic city of ... San Francisco?

African American U.S. Envous, Diplomatic Ministers, Ambassadors, since 1869
This site has a list along with some pages  highlighting specific individuals.

In 2008 the State Department posted a statement - now a bit dated I admit - noting that 5.6% of State Department employees were African Americans. While that figure has improved, African Americans are still underrepresented within the Foreign Service.

Also, Wikipedia has a fairly extensive list as well. If you don't have time to read anything from the list please do check out this mini-bio of the first African American diplomat - Ebenezer Dos Carlos Bassett whose heroic actions in the midst of danger and hardship in Haiti were inspiring (and would make a great movie - FYI Hollywood).

That's all for now. Hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day!

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