Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Black History Month

We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.

- Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) on founding Negro History Week, 1926

Black History Month (also known as African American Heritage Month) is a time to celebrate the historic achievements and contributions of African Americans to our society and our world. I remember growing up and learning about so many amazing African Americans who were positive role models for me, at a time when all we saw on TV were athletes and musicians. And that's pretty much all you see now, except that suddenly we have a Black president, which is practically a miracle.

This entry (and perhaps a few other ones) will be devoted to making known a few of the amazing Black Americans who have advanced our society, and historical events in which they have participated. I hope this is as fun for you as it is for me. :)

Marian Anderson Contralto performing classical reperatoire whose career included several European tours, performances at the New York Metropolitan Opera and at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

Crispus Attucks The first American to die for the Revolutionary cause

Benjamin Banneker Astronomer and mathematician who carved one of the first clocks in America out of wood

Ralph Bunche Recipient of Nobel Peace Prize and United Nations mediator between Arabs and Jews in Palestine in the 1940s

George Washington Carver Scientist, researcher, and educator at what is now Tuskegee University

Paul Cuffee philanthropist, ship captain, and devout Quaker who hoped to settle free African–Americans in Sierra Leone, Africa in 1815; also founded the first integrated school in Massachusetts in 1797.

Benjamin O. Davis First African American general in the United States Army and commander of the 99th fighter squadron of the Tuskegee Airmen

Frederick Douglass Abolitionist, orator, and writer who fought against slavery

Charles R. Drew Founded world's two largest blood banks and developed preservation of blood plasma

W.E.B. DuBois Author, critic, editor, scholar, civil rights leader, and founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Langston Hughes Author, poet, and world traveler during the Harlem Renaissance.

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