The Higher Education of the Nation’s Latest Black Trailblazer

With the election of a black man as president, one would think that African Americans had reached about every pinnacle there is in our society. But this is not so. African Americans continue to make news by being the first of their race to achieve positions of influence.

Mary J. Kight was recently appointed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as adjutant general of the California National Guard. She is the first African-American woman to lead the National Guard in any state.

Kight received a two-year associate’s degree at Monterey Peninsula College and then earned a bachelor’s degree at California State University at Chico. When her new husband decided to join the Air Force, Kight enlisted as well. While enlisted she earned a master’s degree in human resources at Gonzaga University.

Brigadier General Kight has been in the National Guard for 25 years. She now commands the largest National Guard force in the nation.