While Black History is often viewed through a national lens, the greater
Madison area has seen its share of ‘Firsts” make their mark on the local,
statewide and national scenes. In celebration of Black History Month, we
present a random selection of figures in Black History.
1) Maya Angelou, America’s poet laureate, appeared at the TEMPO Tenth
Anniversary celebration at Monona Terrace.
2) Major General Marcia Anderson, the first African American woman to
achieve the rank in the U.S. Army Reserve
3) Fabu Carter, Madison’s first African American poet laureate who served
from 2008-2012
4) Judge Paul Higginbotham, Wisconsin’s first African American appellate
judge
5) Judge Louis Butler, Wisconsin’s first African American Supreme Court
justice
6) Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne, Wisconsin’s first African
American district attorney
7) Barbara Nichols, first African American to head the National Nurses
Association and the Wisconsin Nurses Association
8) Dr. Jack Daniels III, the first African American president of Madison College
9) Frances Huntley-Cooper became the only African American to ever get
elected mayor in Wisconsin’s history when she was elected Fitchburg’s
mayor in April 1991
10) James Braxton, a long-time NAACP supporter and once owned Lee’s
Cleaners, the only African American business on Williamson Street at the time
11) U.S. Senator Barack Obama appears at the NAACP convention in
Milwaukee in July 2005. He would go on to be elected the United States’ first
African American president