What is Black History Month? • Black history month commemorates the significant events and achievements of the African-American population of the United States. • This tradition marked its beginning officially from 1976. It is celebrated in the month of February in the United States of America. • It celebrates all the historic events from 1915, wherein the thirteenth amendment of the American constitution abolished slavery in the US.
How did Black History Month Begin? • Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as "Negro History Week" and later as "Black History Month." • What you might not know is that black history had barely begun to be studied-or even documented-when the tradition originated. • Although blacks have been in America at least as far back as colonial times, it was not until the 20th century that they gained a respectable presence in the history books.
Who started Back History Month? • Dr. Carter G. Woodson—an African American author and scholar—created "Negro History Week" in 1926 to remind all Americans of their ethnic roots and to foster a spirit of togetherness in the United States. • This celebration of African American achievement and heritage evolved into a month-long observance known as "Black History Month" in 1976. • He founded the 'Association for the Study of Negro Life and History' in 1915, which is now known as Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. • Born to parents who were former slaves, he spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at age twenty. • He graduated within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. • The scholar was disturbed to find in his studies that history books largely ignored the black American population-and when blacks did figure into the picture, it was generally in ways that reflected the inferior social position they were assigned at the time.
So Why February?... • Dr. Woodson chose February for this event based on its symbolic nature—both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were born in February. • February 23, 1868: W. E. B. DuBois, important civil rights leader and co-founder of the NAACP, was born. • February 3, 1870: The 15th Amendment was passed, granting blacks the right to vote. • February 25, 1870: The first black U.S. senator, Hiram R. Revels (1822-1901), took his oath of office. • February 12, 1909: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded by a group of concerned black and white citizens in New York City. • February 1, 1960: In what would become a civil-rights movement milestone, a group of black Greensboro, N.C., college students began a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. • February 21, 1965: Malcolm X, the militant leader who promoted Black Nationalism, was shot to death by three Black Muslims. Did you know that… black history month is celebrated in Canada in the month of February and in the UK its celebrated in the month of October.
So who made a difference? • These are the few African Americans who made a difference by being the first in their field and paved a way for others to follow suit….
George Washington Carver (1860-1943) • He was the guy who gave the world, the kids favorite peanut butter. So it's all because of George Washington Carver, kids today enjoy their peanut butter sandwiches so much.
Madame C.J. Walker (1867-1919) • Was the first African American to come with hair care invention and went on to become the first self made female millionaire of North America
Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) • She earned the name Moses, as she helped hundreds of slaves escape to the northern U.S and Canada.
Mary Ann Shad (1823-1893) • She was the first female black lawyer and also the first female newspaper editor of the U.S. She was also the first woman to open a school in Canada that was open to all the races.
Robert Johnson (1911-1938) • He was the famous guitarist who inspired various other artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and B.B. King.
Jesse Owens (1913-2005) • He was the first American to have won 4 gold medals in one Olympics. He was subjected to racism all through his college life but he still stood strong and made the record of the gold medals in Berlin Olympics of 1936
Rosa Parks (1913-2005) • She is one of the most famous women in American history. She was the woman who stood for her rights and refused to give up a seat on the bus to a white man which sparked off the civil rights movement. • Rosa Parks went to jail for her refusal but ultimately came out a winner in the case against the state.
Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) • He was the first black player to play in Major League Baseball. Even though he had to face the wrath of people, Jackie Robinson emerged winner when he was awarded rookie of the year in his second season
Sidney Poitier (1924) • He was the first African American to win an Academy Award for the Best Actor in 1963.
Martin Luther King Junior (1929-1968) One of the most influential personalities who rigidly practiced the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. Martin Luther King Jr. led anti-violence demonstrations against racial discrimination, one of which was to Washington.
The Real McCoy: Summertime fun in the sprinkler • The next time you’re running through the sprinkler, remember that it was invented by Elijah McCoy (1843-1929). Ever heard the expression “the real McCoy”? It comes from another invention by McCoy that allowed trains and other machines to be lubricated while running. When many imitations showed up, people insisted on the real McCoy.
The World-Famous Super Soaker Sure, he’s an aerospace engineer, but Lonnie G. Johnson (born 1949) is best known for creating the world-famous Super Soaker water gun, which has earned more than $200 million in sales. Perhaps you’ve contributed to that number every summer. When he’s not adding to summertime fun, Johnson spends most of his time inventing mechanical and electrical systems for NASA rockets, and has earned more than 40 patents for his work.
Music, please, covered Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong (1900-1971) was one of the most influential artists of all time. He transformed jazz into an art form, and his trumpet style is still imitated today. His two international hits, “Hello Dolly” and “What a Wonderful World,” are still often heard today.
Red light, green light. • The next time you’re waiting at a red light, tell your parents it was invented by Garrett Morgan (1877-1963). • Morgan’s other invention, the gas mask, also saves lives. Many soldiers survived the First World War thanks to the gas mask, which prevented deadly mustard gas from entering their lungs.
A lifesaving discovery • While researching blood transfusions, Dr. Charles Richard Drew (1904-1950) realized that blood, like other liquids, could be preserved. • His method, now known as blood banking, revolutionized medicine and changed the way doctors work in remote areas or during times of war. • Dr. Drew went on to form the Red Cross Blood Bank.
From mischievous kid to the Supreme Court • Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) is a must-know figure in Black history. He was the first African-American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. As a kid, he was mischievous, and was once forced to write copies of the Constitution as punishment for his misbehavior. • He later said that punishment piqued his interest in the Constitution • As a young adult, he applied to his hometown law school at the University of Maryland, but was denied entrance because of being Black. • He later sued the school and won. And before he became a judge, he was a successful attorney who, most famously, won the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case, which ended school segregation.