As we continue to celebrate BMH (Black History Month), I thought I’d share a couple of facts that I bet you didn’t know about some notable African-Americans whom made history. There were many, many African-Americans whom’s talents and contributions were well known such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a social activist and baptist minister whom played a huge role in the civil rights movement in which he lead peaceful protest to make sure African Americans get the right to vote and be treated as an equal.
His “I have a dream speech” is known as one of the best speeches of our nation and has been quoted numerous times – Kings speech of equality has touched many lives and while some things have changed, we still have quite a ways to go before his dream will be fully a dream come true.
So, while King is a popular name among-st the nation, there are other African Americans whom helped lend a helping hand in shaping this country as well. While there are over 100 facts about African American History you may or may not have known, listed below are 15 facts (including one above) that I personally didn’t even know about, except for the last one of course
Check them out below:
Carter G. Woodson organized the first Negro History Week Celebration on the second week of February in 1926. The week celebration eventually became a month long celebration which is now known as Black History Month
February was chosen as Black History Month because two important birthdays occur in
February—that of Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, and that of Frederick Douglass, an early African American abolitionist
Andrew “Rube” Foster organized the Negro National League, the first Black baseball
league, in 1920. The first independent Black professional baseball team was the Cuban
Giants, formed in 1885.
Marie V. Brittan Brown, a female African American inventor, designed a security system which was patented on December 2, 1969. The “Closed Circuit Television Security” system created by Brown was intended to help people guarantee their own security until the police arrived.
Sophia Packard and Harriet Giles, the founders of Spelman College, used just $100 to
found this Historically Black College. Miss Sophie Packard died in 1891. Miss Hattie Giles took over the role of Seminary President until her own death in 1910. But that time, Spelman had become the largest Black women’s seminary in the world. Today it is known as Spelman College.
In 1954, with Barbara Jordan as the leader, the all-Black Texas Southern University
debate team stunned and beat the Harvard debate team. After unsuccessful bids in 1962 and 1964, Jordan ran and won a seat in the Texas House of Representatives in 1966, and she became the first African American person since 1883 to serve in the Texas Senate. In 1972 Jordan was elected to represent Texas’ Eighteenth District in the House of Representatives.
The U.S. Capitol and the White House were both constructed with the help of free
Blacks and slaves, working alongside white laborers and craftsmen. This story was also spoken of by Michelle Obama during the 2016 Democratic National Convention speech.
Benjamin Bradley, a slave, was employed at a printing office and later at the Annapolis
Naval Academy. In the 1840s he developed a steam engine for a war ship. Unable to
patent his work due to the fact of him being a slave; he sold the patent and used the proceeds to purchase his freedom.
When Frank Wills, a 24-year-old security guard at the Watergate office complex in Washington DC, noticed a piece of duct tape on a door lock while doing his rounds, he could not have imagined that he was about to unearth a political scandal that would bring down a United States President. Frank Wills, a Black security guard, discovered President Nixon’s cover-up which later caused his resignation as President of the United States. Despite Wills’ discovery he struggled to find work for the rest of his life.
Estine Cowner, a former waitress; became a scaler on a construction crew at the Kaiser shipyards in Richmond, CA, to construct the Liberty ship George Washington Carver. The demand for qualified labor in WWII opened up new opportunities for Black women.
The term “dreadlocks” came from a movement of guerrilla warriors who vowed not to cut their hair until Haile Selassie, former Emperor of Ethiopia was released from exile after leading the resistance against the Italian invasion. The warriors hair became matted and began to lock over time. Because the warriors with locks in their head were “dreaded” the term “dreadlocks” came to fruition.
Being able to buy fresh food from your local supermarket, wouldn’t have happened had it not been for an African American inventor named Frederick McKinley Jones. Jones invented the air-cooling units used in food transporting trucks in the 1930s, and was awarded more than 60 patents over the course of his life, 40 of which involved refrigeration equipment.
Selma Burke was an American sculptor and a member of the Harlem Renaissance movement whom described herself as “a people’s sculptor.” Burke created many pieces of public art and prominent African-American figures like Duke Ellington, Mary McLeod Bethune and Booker T. Washington.
AND, LAST BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST!
Former President Barack Obama made history by becoming the first African American to become president of the United States. The 44th president, served a total of 8 years in office; getting elected to a second term in 2013. During his term, Obama signed many landmark bills into law including “Obamacare” a.k.a the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Did any of these facts surprise you? Did you know any of them? Do you have an African American fact to share? If so, sound off in the comments!!
You can find more African-American trendsetters and how they shaped the African American Culture ……. here
Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager