Black History Month

Destiny Jackson, Desk Writer

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February is the month of love, some people hate the month because of it, but it is also Black History Month. Black History Month honors the contributions of African Americans to United States history. Did you know that Madam CJ Walker was America’s first self-made woman to become a millionaire or that George Washington Carver was able to derive nearly 300 products from peanuts? Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” which was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher. It became a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. African Americans have made many contributions to society after overcoming the struggle of slavery and segregation.

Most people think of Rosa Parks as the first person to refuse to give up their seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. There were actually several women who came before her; one of whom was Claudette Colvin. It was March 2, 1955, when the fifteen-year-old schoolgirl refused to move to the back of the bus, nine months before Rosa Parks’ stand that launched the Montgomery bus boycott. This is one in many of the brave stories of an African American standing up for their rights that many either don’t know about or forget. Frederick Douglass was the most well-known Black person in America as he bravely fought for the cause of the abolishment of slavery. Nina Simone was one of the foremost singer/songwriters and Civil Right activists of her generation. One of the foremost figures of the Civil Right Movement, Maya Angelou was a true visionary writer and performer. Bessie Coleman was a pioneer and innovator in the field of aviation as an African American woman. Langston Hughes was one of the most celebrated and respected writers/poets of the Harlem Renaissance. There was also many more famous African Americans who stepped out their comfort zones and did what they believed regardless of the way African Americans were not treated equal just because the color of their skin.

Racism was a huge issue in our nation and it is still around today. If these African American heroes never took the risks they did, there is no telling where our country would be today.

“I remember when Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, I was so excited to know he was the first African American president, like I feel like I was a part of a big moment in history.” Sarah Crews says.

Regardless of the color of your skin, African Americans helped impact and make what our country the great nation it is today

Muhammad Ali painting by: Jazmine Collier, Paula Moron, Jack McAlister

Morgan Freeman painting by: Caitlyn Hoey, Jay Buff, Emma Lindsey, Brandon Croker

 

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