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People

Captain Hugh Mulzac
In 1942 at the age of 56, Hugh Mulzac became the first African-American merchant marine naval officer to skipper an integrated crew.

Rear Admiral Michelle Howard
Howard coordinated the complex tactical plan to rescue Capt. Phillips, who was taken hostage after Somali pirates boarded his container ship.

   

Bill Pinkney
In June 1992, Bill Pinkney became one of the first black men to sail solo around the world.

Michael Healy
Also known as "Hell Roaring Mike" – was commanding officer of the Coast Guard cutters Chandler, Corwin, Bear, McCulloch and Thetis.

   

Paul Cuffe
When Paul Cuffe learned about the movement to settle free African-Americans in West Africa, he decided to go investigate.

Siah Carter
In 1862, 18 slaves, including Siah Carter, ran away from the Shirley Plantation while the Union army occupied the plantation property.

   

Captain Absalom Boston
Absalom Boston stood out as the first whaling ship captain to sail with an all-black crew.

Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano is considered to be the author of the first black slave narrative.

   

Ralph Ellison
Ralph Ellison conceptualized the idea for his best-known novel, Invisible Man.

Rear Admiral Evelyn Fields
Fields is the first African-American and first woman to become director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officers Corps.

   

James Forten
An influential black mariner in the 1700s was James Forten of Philadelphia.

Marcus Garvey
Marcus Garvey, best known for his aggressive nationalist activism, was also a man of the sea.

   

Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Rescuers
The Pea Island Rescuers were an all-black crew of surfmen who courageously rescued everyone aboard the schooner, E.S. Newman.

Moe Molinar
Molinar, a black treasure hunter, had stumbled on the wreck of a slave ship.


   

Frederick Douglass
Douglass' most well-known work is his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, which was published in 1845.

Hendrick Quintor
After joining the pirates of the Whydah, Quintor earned a reputation as one of the toughest pirates on the ship.

   

"Dorie" Miller
Doris Miller, an African-American sailor, went from serving as the ship’s cook to a war hero when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.

Carl Brashear
Carl Brashear, the first black U.S. Navy diver, overcame a humble upbringing and racial discrimination to make extraordinary achievements above and below the sea.

   

Robert Smalls
Called by many as an American hero, he took work as a deck hand on the steamer Planter.

Captain William T. Shorey
Among the whalers who sailed through the Golden Gate, Captain Shorey stands out as an exemplary man.

 
 
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