Schenectady

Milestones for Black citizens in Schenectady history, post World War II

The Schenectady Silhouettes pose for a photo in 2001. Founding members include, from left, Eveyln Baird, Marsha Mortimore (background), Minnie Stamper (seated), Hilvan Finch, Corine Sadler and James Stamper. Gazette file photos

The Schenectady Silhouettes pose for a photo in 2001. Founding members include, from left, Eveyln Baird, Marsha Mortimore (background), Minnie Stamper (seated), Hilvan Finch, Corine Sadler and James Stamper. Gazette file photos

1947: Classie Cox is the first Black teacher hired by the Schenectady City School District.

1949: The Schenectady chapter of the NAACP is established; Gerald A. White, pastor at Friendship Baptist Church, is the first president.

1951: James Stamper is the first Black supervisor at the General Electric Co.

1952: Arthur Chaires becomes the first Black officer for the Schenectady Police Department.

1957: Maude Branic becomes the first Black female to work for the Schenectady Police Department.

1958: Tismotha “Lee” Sutton Toland creates the Schenectady Silhouettes, a Black civic association designed to serve the needs of the community.

More: Breaking barriers — Allen brothers became first Black Schenectadians to make political inroads

1959: Malinda Myers becomes the first female president of the Schenectady NAACP.

1966: Georgetta Dix forms the Refreshing Spring Child Care Center.

1968: Hamilton Hill Arts Center is formed by Dr. James and Margaret Cunningham.

1968: Ralph Boyd represents Schenectady County Democrats as a delegate for Eugene McCarthy at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

1971: Art Allen announces his candidacy for Schenectady City Council, but the bid fails.

1995: Joe Allen becomes the first Black man to be elected to the Schenectady City Council and takes his oath of office in January of 1996.

1999: Joe Allen becomes the first Black president of the City Council.

2004: Philip Fields is appointed to Brian Stratton’s seat in the Schenectady County Legislature, becoming the first Black person to serve in that body, and in 2005 he becomes the first Black person ever elected to the County Legislature.

2012: Marion Porterfield becomes the first Black woman to serve on the City Council, having been appointed to fill a vacancy, and in 2013 she becomes the first Black woman ever elected to the City Council.

More: Breaking barriers — Allen brothers became first Black Schenectadians to make political inroads

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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