From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Robinson, Thomas Harry

(born: 1889) In 1916, [Thomas] Harry Robinson was thought to be the first African American foreman employed at the Ford Automobile Works in Detroit, MI [source: "Mr. Harry Robinson...," The Crisis, February 1917, vol. 13, no. 4, p. 192; and "Ford employs a colored foreman," Advocate, 12/22/1916, p. 1]. He was in charge of of all stock leaving the factory.

Harry Robinson was born November 24, 1889 in Louisville, KY, according to his World War I draft registration card. He was the husband of Aletha Robinson from Ohio. Both Thomas and Aletha Robinson are sometimes listed as white or mulatto in the U.S. Federal Census. In 1940, Thomas Harry Robinson was a widower living on Whitewood Street in Detroit [source: U.S. Federal Census].

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NKAA Source: Crisis (periodical)
NKAA Source: Cleveland advocate (newspaper)

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“Robinson, Thomas Harry,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 28, 2024,

Last modified: 2022-12-02 20:04:53