Every February, the United States commemorates Black History Month. It is a time to remember the accomplishments of African Americans throughout history. Furthermore, It also aims to acknowledge that the battle for racial justice continues even now.
The subject for Black History Month this year is “Black Health and Wellness.” The Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), headquartered in Washington D.C, put forward the theme.
For decades, various Black historical individuals have left their imprints on American history. Unfortunately, many of their achievements go unnoticed and unappreciated. Their stories remained silent under the weight of slavery and Jim Crow segregation laws.
Here are a few facts you should know about the African American Community:
- In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, branded as the “Father of Black History,” established the first Negro History Week to assure that pupils learned about African-American history.
- William Tucker was the first African-American to be born in the thirteen colonies. He was born near Jamestown, Virginia in 1624.
- In 1738, a group of around 100, recently emancipated men and women settled near St. Augustine, Florida. They founded the country’s first black settlement, the town of Gracia Real De Santa Teresa De Mose.
- Vermont became the first colony to abolish slavery on July 2, 1777.
The Black community also raised talented inventors and innovators:
- During the summer of 1853, George “Crum” Speck, a chef and restaurant proprietor, invented the potato chip by accident.
- Garret Morgan’s ideas proved to be a life-saver. His traffic signal, which he invented in 1922, was the first to incorporate a third “caution” indicator, currently known as the yellow light.
- George Carver, an agricultural scientist, developed over 300 new peanut-based goods, including milk, wheat, ink, soap, medicinal oils, and cosmetics.
- Mark Dean, a computer scientist and engineer, co-invented IBM’s first personal computer and the PC colour monitor.
Looking back at history there are numerous athletes from the Black community who contributed to the nation:
- Wilma Rudolph created Olympic history on September 7, 1960. She became the first woman and the first African American woman to win three gold medals. She became renowned as the world’s fastest woman.
- Gabby Douglas became the first Black gymnast to win the Individual All-Around championship at the 2012 London Olympics.
The Black community also made contributions to US politics through Martin Luther King and Barack Obama. Moreover, artists like Stevie Wonder, Sylvia Robinson, Oprah Winfrey, and Hattie McDaniel made valuable contributions in the entertainment industry.
Many African Americans hope for a day when they no longer require a Black History Month. Unfortunately, recent developments show that the time has not yet arrived for many. Nevertheless, Black history month gives a chance for young people, particularly in the United States, to reflect on the past. They can use the lessons learned to envisage and strive for a better future.