Robert Smalls

Politician (1839–1915)



Helen Fields, the great great granddaughter of Robert Smalls, stands with his monument in his hometown of Beaufort, South Carolina.

Kamaria Walton, Beats Editor

Most people know black history as just slavery and civil rights, however it is much more than just that. It is filled to the brim with bravery, founders, innovators, and much, much more. Rare is it that people talk about them.

An example of one of the brave souls in history that is not known well to the public or taught about in standard history classes is Robert Smalls. Robert Smalls was a black man who was born into slavery in 1839.

Junior Roneeka Johnson, said “I just think it’s very interesting that Black History Month is the shortest one of the year.”

Once he was out of slavery he started to make major contributions to the rebellion against the confederacy. Smalls stole a confederate military ship in 1861, and then disguised himself as the ship’s captain.

Junior Lindsay Tacy said, “It should be about how they’ll be able to contribute to society.”

He then used a secret code book as well as hand gestures and signals to pass other confederate guard ships. While he was out in the ocean he rescued some other slaves and their families.

He finally escaped to freedom, and afterwards ran for Congress and won becoming the last Republican to represent South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District.

Tacy said, “But when I think of this month all I think about is equal rights.”