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Teresa Deloach-Reed: First African-American Woman Fire Chief

According to Reuters, there's history being made in the streets of Oakland, California. The city, which has been going through racial strife of its own, announced last week the hiring of Teresa Deloach-Reed to the Oakland Fire Department. The 53-year-old becomes the first African-American woman to serve as the fire chief of a major metropolitan area. She is scheduled to take control of the Oakland Fire Department in March, where she'll be leading a group of 580 civil servants.

As Jay-Z says, "Numbers don't lie," and the statistics aren't exactly first rate when it comes to Black women extinguishing fires outside of the home. As of 2010, less than 4 percent of U.S. firefighters were women, and just over 6 percent were black, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "There are still a lot of departments that don't have any women," Deloach-Reed said in a telephone interview with Reuters. "We still have a long way to go in regards to breaking down the doors."

We here at EBONY wish Teresa Deloach-Reed much success and many blessings in her new position. But, we must ask, does her appointment mean more opportunities for African-Americans in other cities? Or, is the progressive metropolis just ahead of the curve?

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