Black Leaders in Transportation

By Madison Huemmer

It’s February which means it’s Black History Month! I want to take a moment to celebrate the contributions of a few black leaders in transportation.

Garrett Augustus Morgan

Born in Paris but moved to Cleveland in 1895. There, Morgan witnessed a car crash that motivated him to invent the modern traffic signal. He also invented a widely used WW1 gas mask and established a newspaper.

Bessie Coleman

Inspired by French female pilots “Queen Bess” earned her international pilots license in 1921. She toured the U.S. giving flight lessons, and performing in air shows. Coleman encouraged African Americans and women to learn to fly. Coleman refused to speak anywhere that had discriminatory practices such as segregated entrances.

William Thaddeus Coleman, Jr.

At the age of 26, William graduated from Harvard Law with manga cum laude honors. He went on to become the first African American clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court. He went on to work on many NAACP cases and was elected president of the NAACP in 1971. In 1975 President Ford appointed Mr. Coleman as Secretary of Transportation.

Learn more about these incredible leaders:

Madison Huemmer is a Regional Sales Manager for ParkMobile. She can be reached at