A female firefighter?
A black woman?
Check and check. Williams was way before her time!
The first woman firefighter was an African American. Molly Williams worked along side the men of the Oceanus Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 of New York City in 1818.
Even as a slave, Williams had gained the respect of her fellow firefighters. Her story and strength paved the way for other women, including one the first paid Black female firefighters and the most tenured in the country – Toni McIntosh of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who served for over 11 years.
And such is typical–I can hardly find anything written about her. To me, this is a big deal and you’d think there would be many books on the first female firefighter. Who is also a black woman. But I really can’t find very much aside from those facts, which just goes to show who records history and makes me wonder how much more of MY stories have been left out? How many other woman did amazing things that we’ve never even heard of because some white man didn’t deem it important to write down? It’s a real shame.
Here’s what I can find: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/dianne-ochiltree/molly-golly/
A children’s book. That’s it. Don’t get me wrong, that’s great and all, but I was hoping for a biography with substance–or at least a compilation of important historical firefighters or something like that. How disappointing!