Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Urban Politico Celebrates Black History Month: African American Firsts

The Urban Politico would like to celebrate Black History Month by bringing you the first achievements by African Americans. Many African Americans broke down color barriers, forced a culture change or established a new way of doing things. During Black History Month, we will highlight their achievements.

Macon Bolling Allen

In 1844 in Portland, Maine, Macon Bolling Allen became the first African American licensed to practice law in the United States.  Shortly after being admitted as the first licensed Black American attorney to the bar in Boston (1845), he became the first Black American Justice of the Peace.  Allen was born free in Indiana in 1816, the same year Indiana was admitted as the nineteenth state to join the Union.  While in his twenties, Allen moved to Maine where he met General Samuel Fessenden, who established a law firm and took on Allen as an apprentice.  According to Maine law at that time, anyone of good moral character could be admitted to the bar. Allen was rejected, though, because he was not a citizen (born in Indiana before it joined the Union). Allen then applied to be admitted by examination. He passed, was recommended, and admitted. On July 3, 1844, Allen was declared a citizen of the State of Maine with good moral character.

Today, The Urban Politico salutes Macon Bolling Allen , the first African American Licensed to practice law in the United States. 
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