Moses P. Cobb was a tough man. He was born a slave in Kinston, North Carolina in 1856. After emancipation, he sought a new start to his life, literally step-by-step, by walking to New York City from North Carolina. After his sojourn, Cobb bought a house in Weeksville, a community in Brooklyns Ninth Ward formed by freed slaves. In 1892, he became his neighborhoods first black policeman.
"Wear it with pride," said Brooklyn's Borough President Marty Markowitz as he handed me a "Brooklyn" lapel pin. We both sat down in his spacious Borough Hall office, complete with lacquered wood floors and a chandelier.