02/06/2019: Black History Month
What is Black History Month?
February 1st marks the beginning of Black History Month, also known as African- American History Month. We use the month to remember the important contributions and achievements that African- Americans have made throughout our nation’s history.
Why we celebrate:
Celebrating the Historic Leaders of the Black Community
February marks Black History Month, a tribute to African-American men and women who have made significant contributions to America and the rest of the world in the fields of science, politics, law, sports, the arts, entertainment, and many other fields. While Black History Month is synonymous with prominent figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and President Barack Obama, there are countless other African-Americans who’ve made a profound impact in history: self-made millionaire Madam C.J. Walker, world-renowned sculptor Edmonia Lewis, carbon filament light bulb inventor Lewis Howard Latimer, open-heart surgeon Daniel Hale Williams, science-fiction writer Octavia E. Butler, and “Father of Black History” Carter G. Woodson, who lobbied extensively to establish Black History Month as a nationwide celebration, among many others.
Heroes like these and many more deserve to be honored for the sacrifice and suffering they endured for the sake of racial equality. Celebrating Black History Month allows us to pause and remember their stories, so we can commemorate their achievements.
- Celebrating Helps Us to Be Better Stewards of the Privileges We’ve Gained
- Scientist and mathematician Benjamin Banneker is credited with helping to design the blueprints for Washington, D.C.
- Inventor of the three-way traffic signal, Garrett Morgan, became the first African American to own a car in Cleveland, Ohio
- Thurgood Marshall was the first African American appointed to the United States Supreme Court
- Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to go into space aboard the space shuttle Endeavor in 1992
- Both Condoleezza Rice and Martin Luther King Jr started college when they were 15 years old
- In 1893, the first successful open-heart surgery was performed by a Black Surgeon, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams. Dr. Daniel Williams completed the operation on a young man named James Cornish.
- Celebrating Provides an Opportunity to Highlight the Best of Black History & Culture
Black History Month provides the chance to focus on different aspects of African Americans. We can applaud Madam C.J. Walker as the first self-made female millionaire in the U.S. We can let our eyes flit across the verses of Phyllis Wheatley poetry, the first African American poet and woman to publish a book. And we can groove to soulful jazz and somber blues music composed by the likes of Miles Davis and Robert Johnson. Black History Month spurs us to seek out and lift up the best in African American accomplishments.
- Celebrating Creates Awareness for All People
- Celebrating Reminds Us All that Black History Is OUR History
Black history belongs to all of us — men and women, young and old. The impact African Americans have made on this country is part of our collective consciousness. Contemplating Black history draws people of every race into the grand and diverse story of this nation.