The Higher Education of the Nation’s Top Black G-Men

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a poor record in the employment and treatment of African Americans. In the 1960s the FBI was actively involved in domestic surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. and other members of the civil rights movement. In the long J. Edgar Hoover period, blacks as a group were treated as incompetent and subversive people. Blacks as a whole were said to be a threat to national security.  Black activists on college campuses across the United States were frequently placed under FBI surveillance.

Today, of the 12,617 FBI special agents, there are 677 African Americans, 5.4 percent of the total.

But despite the relatively low percentage of blacks as special agents, there has been considerable progress of blacks into top positions at the FBI. Most notable, both of the executive assistant directors of the bureau are black men.

Michael A. Mason, a black man, is in charge of all criminal investigations at the FBI. Mason is a native of Chicago and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Willie T. Hulon, who also is black, is the executive assistant director for national security. He is in charge of all of the FBI’s counterterrorism programs. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Hulon is a 1979 graduate of Rhodes College.