African American History Month

Be black and shine

Shania Mckellar , Staff Writer

Black History Month is the occasion where individuals remember important African Americans and events that took place in history. 

The month is observed in February because it coincided with the birthday of 16th President Abraham Lincoln and Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, two men who helped to eliminate slavery. 

Texas A&M Today states that the celebration began as Negro History Week initiated by Carter G. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black”  on Feb. 7, 1926 and originated in Chicago during the summer of 1915. The week later changed to the whole month of February to expand honoring African American history.

The National Geographic of Kids states, “Black History Month was created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans to the United States. It honors all Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today.”

The Philadelphia Citizen reported that there were several black heroes who’ve impacted the world such as the greatest civil rights activists in Philadelphia Octavius V. Catto.

Catto fought against laws that banned colored people from riding the railways, segregation in schools, and restricting African Americans’ right to vote right up until the day he was killed by Frank Kelly.

The public has heard about Activist Rosa Parks for rejecting her seat on the Cleveland Avenue bus, but American pioneer Claudette Colvin was the first person to get arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a Caucasian person on the bus.  

According to the biography of Colvin, she didn’t get much recognition as Parks because she did not have good hair, she was a teenager, and had gotten pregnant.

The History Channel states Thurgood Marshall as another activist in black history. Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court justice, in which he played a role in racial equality throughout the civil rights movement. 

Marshall worked with many cases in his lifetime such as the Brown vs. Board of Education, Chambers vs. Florida, Murray vs. Pearson, and many more. Thurgood was upheld as one of the top lawyers in the U.S. 

Black History Month teaches students about the black effort and the benefaction from African Americans who’ve impacted the world. 

“Black History month to me is a remembrance of black historians, leaders, activists and much more influencers who have helped the black community get stronger,” said Pre-law student Heshler Nerelus.

“I think that Black History Month is a huge accomplishment because it helps us to express our thoughts on the things that took place in Black History,” said Shaeina Thomas, Senior in Marine Technology program. 

Richard Wright, American novelist and short story writer said, “We black folk, our history and our present being, are a mirror of all the manifold experiences of America. What we want, what we represent, what we endure is what America is. If we black folk perish, America will perish.”