Free Press First Blacks edition coming February 22nd

    The February 22nd edition of the Free Press will feature the 2018 “First Black Achievers” special edition.
    “The First Black Achievers” is a historic listing of over 500 local blacks who were the first to break the color barrier in specific areas locally.
    “The First Blacks are extremely important because they paved the way for others to follow. If they drop the ball, it makes it difficult for others of our race to follow,” said Roosevelt Wright, Jr., publisher of the Free Press.
    The last “First Black Achievers” section was published four years ago, but Wright says there have been more “first blacks” to add to our achievers list.
    “It’s our unofficial hall of fame,” said Wright, who added that it’s also a way to tell the story of the local struggle in many areas.
     Wright said the section is a salute to the unsung heroes of our history whose names may or may not be generally known, but their contribution was significant.
     “It seems small now, but the first black bank teller was a big deal when it happened. The first black man to deliver bread unsupervised or the first black supervisor at a McDonald’s paved the way for others,” said Wright.
     Wright said anyone who has become the first of our race to hold a position of responsibility or to achieve a goal and wants to be sure they are included in the listing, should call the Free Press office at 318-388-1310 by February 16th or email us at “” There is no charge to be listed.
    Wright said “first black” claims are subject to verification because often some think they were the first blacks in a position, but are not aware of the accomplishment of others many years before. 
    In addition, persons who want the accomplishment of a family member highlighted with more details they can provide photos and more information.
    “If a person in your family was the first black janitor, foreman, dishwasher, supervisor, bank teller, secretary, nurse, security guard, truck driver, dispatcher, teacher, etc. you may want to tell their story and salute them as your family’s Black History accomplishment.