In honor of Black History Month, the Arlington, Texas, Fire Department is recognizing John Self, who was the department's first black firefighter 45 years ago.
Self was raised in Zachary and graduated from Southern University in 1973 with a business management degree, a news release said. Shortly after graduation, he and his soon-to-be wife, Beatrice, moved to Arlington, where he joined the fire department.
Later, he changed careers, serving as the first black customer service representative for energy company TXU/Oncor, the release said. In 2004, he became the company's first black male vice president.