Black History Month: African American contributions to transportation highlighted

Archie Alexander
Engineer Archie Alexander

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials has produced a vital history of contributions to transportation made by African Americans.

The Association’s site features biographies, photos and the compelling stories of pioneers who played key roles in the development of transportation in the United States.

Among those newly featured this year:

  • During his long engineering career, Archibald Alphonso “Archie” Alexander achieved widespread acclaim for the bridges and other transportation infrastructure that he helped create across the United States.
  • U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Brenda E. Robinson earned her Wings of Gold at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas. This made her the first black woman to become a U.S. naval aviator. The following year, Robinson made history again when she became the first black woman certified for C-1A carrier onboard delivery carrier landings.
  • The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion  — nicknamed the “Six Triple Eight” —  one of the small number of military units consisting entirely of African American women to serve overseas during World War II. The 6888th was also the largest of those units.

The organization also has produced a video highlighting achievements. The U.S. DOT has also produced a video recognizing African American transportation innovators.

Locally, MTC's Clipper had a featured post on Twitter as part of this month's recognition. AC Transit is also recognizing the achievements of African-Americans in transportation. BART also is honoring Black History Month.

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