Monument Unveiled in Charleston, SC, for First African American to Enter the U.S. Naval Academy

In September 1872, James H. Conyers reported to the U.S. Naval Academy as the first African American to attend the Academy. 150 years later on 14 November, Conyers’ family members, Naval Academy Superintendent VADM Sean Buck ’83, USN, USNA AA&F President and CEO Jeff Webb ’95, and members of the alumni community gathered in Conyers’ hometown of Charleston, SC, to honor his life and mark this significant USNA milestone. Unfortunately, Conyers did not complete his four years at the Academy due to racially-motivated abuse. However, he did pave the way for future African American midshipmen and his legacy lives on today. The keynote speaker for the ceremony was 2018 USNA Distinguished Graduate MajGen Charles Bolden Jr. ’68, USMC (Ret.). The Naval Academy Minority Association (NAMA) Shared Interest Group, directed by RADM Julius Caesar ’77, USN (Ret.), organized and hosted the gathering. Conyers’ legacy as a Naval Academy pioneer is now rightfully etched in stone in Charleston, and in the hearts of all who honor his courage.