Of course we know of the many great African Americans in history that have impacted our lives through their fortitude and selfless acts of bravery. It’s very difficult to categorize these individuals because they sometimes transcend lines “we” tend to draw. There are greats from far distant past, not so distant and of course present.
Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Dubois (pictures), Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Nat Turner, Phillis Wheatley, Crispus Attucks, Pierre Toussaint, Dred Scott
Civil Rights Leaders:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Little Rock Nine with Daisy Bates (pictured), Thurgood Marshall, Julian Bond, Shirley Chisholm, Medgar Evers, James Weldon Johnson, Floyd McKissick, Shirley Chisholm
Civil Rights Activists:
Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver, Angela Davis (pictured), Bayard Rustin, Fannie Lou (Townsend) Hamer, Dorothy Height, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Fred Shuttlesworth
President Barack Obama, Harold Washington, Condoleezza Rice, Ralph Bunche, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., David Dinkins, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Jesse Jackson, Maynard Jackson, Colin Powell
These lists could go on and on and on. You notice I didn't put any periods at the end of the lists....this is because of the many additional people that could be added. We could name great musicians, artists, writers, and so on. As a "baby boomer" I am more than just a little appreciative of Black History Month.
Black History Month was begun as Negro History Week by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926. His goal was to educate the American people about African-American history, focusing on African Americans' cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements. I remember when I was in elementary school we would select a historical Black person to write a report on. Somehow we were always given basically the same list of abolitionists and civil rights leaders every year. My mother went through the expense of buying a beautiful set of Black History Encyclopedia and Black history week became a whole new ballgame for us. We wrote reports on people no one in our classes had ever heard of. "Thanks Mom".
*side note on my mother She also saw to it that we became the first girls in our high school class to wear our hair in Afros, like it or not.*
Since February became Black History Month in 1976, there has been a wonderful awakening of African American accomplishments to our country. A lot of this came through school, library and even church programs.
Take a few moments and try to imagine some of the wonderful achievements of African American doctors, statesmen, writers, inventors, activists, etc., etc., etc.
I have a list (of course) of some of my favorite African American authors' books for you for Black History Month. Enjoy!
Leaving Atlanta by Tayari Jones
Some Things I Never Thought I Would Do by Pearl Cleage
Love by Toni Morrison
The Flip Side of Sin by Rosalynn McMillan
The Future Has a Past by J. California Cooper
This list also would go on and on and on so just hit the link to African American Resource Center below and find more of my favorites!