Niles City Council member poses Black History Month challenge

NILES – Niles City Council member Charlie McAfee challenged her fellow council members on Monday evening to learn more about African American contributions to the Niles community.

“With this month being Black History Month, I have homework for each of us,” McAfee said. “I already have the answers, but I know a lot of people don’t.”

McAfee proposed that each of the council members find many “firsts” within the Niles area history to report back at the next meeting.

“With this being Valentine’s Day, the day of love, President’s Day, Groundhog Day and everything, do a little research,” she said.

Council member Georgia Boggs echoed McAfee’s sentiments.

“I’d like for us to just recognize all the things that African Americans contribute to our great country of the United States of America,” Boggs said.

McAfee’s challenge included finding the first African American representatives, woman and man, in each of these categories:

  • First owner of a bar and grill
  • First school board members
  • First Niles City Council members
  • First black organization to have a day named in their honor
  • First firefighter and police officer
  • First full-time employee of the city of Niles
  • First FCC license holder at the WNIL radio station
  • First group set up to operate a school program for at-risk students
  • First chamber of commerce person of the year

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