Black Firsts: History Is Still Being Made

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Firefighter And Trailblazer

This may sound incredible especially in the year 2014,  but the Boston Fire Department recently named its first African-American deputy chief, District Chief Andre Stallworth, 44, in more than 300 years.

“I’m grateful to stand on the shoulders of those who came before me,’’ Stallworth,  a 23-year veteran, said. “I know a lot of people made it possible for me to be here.”

Stallworth joined the Boston Fire Department in 1991 and after eight years, he was promoted to lieutenant. In 2001, he was promoted to captain, becoming district chief in 2005. Stallworth’s promotion came at a time when community leaders were pushing lawmakers to help boost the number of minority candidates on the force. According to, blacks represent 22 percent of the Boston Fire Department’s 1,460 uniformed staff. Of the 321 blacks there are four district chiefs, six captains, and 32 lieutenants.

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