SIU honors first African American male student - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIU honors first African American male student

(Source: KFVS) (Source: KFVS)
CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) -

There was a special celebration st SIU on Thursday for a man who made history on the campus.

His name was Alexander Lane and he was the first African American man to attend SIU.

Lane was born in Mississippi and his mother, a slave, sent him north with a Union Army colonel who promised to educate her son.

Lane ended up in Tamaroa and enrolled at SIU in 1876.

Pamela Smoot gave a presentation about Lane at Morris Library on Thursday.

"It's about struggle, resistance and survival," she said. "Those are 3 of the themes in African American History, and so looking at that you can see how important it is to know where you came from."

After attending SIU, Lane became the first principal of Attucks School in Carbondale. Later on in  life, Lane was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives and won re-election two years later.

He died in 1911 and is buried in Carbondale.

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