Black is back

Black+is+back

Brenda Joseph Illustration

Black History Month starts in February and continues on throughout the whole month… the shortest month of the year, ironically.

Not many people know that Black History Month began as Negro History Week. It was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, who was an African American historian, scholar, educator and publisher. Soon enough Negro History Week became a month-long celebration in 1976.

During Black History Month, we learn about and honor memorable figures of African American history. It’s the time when we honor our curls, our music, our stories, our ancestors, our strength and much more.

Here are some great, historical African American figures:

  • Madam C.J. Walker was America’s first African American woman to become a self-made millionaire.
  • Benjamin Thornton created an answering machine device.
  • Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Oscar.
  • Mary McLeod Bethune was an American educator and leader best known for starting a private school for African-American students which developed into Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach.
  • Mae Jemison in 1992 became the first black female astronaut.
  • Otis Boykin invented resistors for pacemakers.
  • Althea Gibson, the first African American to play in the Wimbledon tennis championships, won 11 Grand Slam tournaments.

All of these contributions to the African American community are astonishing. It shows how strong we were during the time of slavery, what we have been through and how hard it was to fight for freedom. It’s a reminder of those who fought the hardest.

African Americans were strong enough to overcome injustice, and are strong enough to continue to fight and create new legacies.