Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words ring true no matter the year, day or month. Though we heed his sentiment everyday, during the month of February, we pay special attention to a culture and history.
During the month of February, we celebrate Black History Month, but Black history is such an integral part of our country’s entire past. Below are some facts illustrating the significance and influence of Black history on our country.
- The NAACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was founded in 1909 and is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. – naacp.org
- “Negro History Week” was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a historian and publisher. In 1976, it became a month-long celebration. – history.com
- In 1955, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to move to the back of the bus (9 months prior to Rosa Parks) and was arrested as a result. – pbs.org
- February is Black History month because it is Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday month. – history.com
- John Mercer Langston became the first African American lawyer in 1854 in Ohio. – history.com
- In 1967, Thurgood Marshall was the first African American to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court. – history.com
- Cartoon character Betty Boop was inspired by African American jazz singer Esther Jones, aka “Baby Esther.” – pbs.org
- In 1967, Richard Loving (white man) and Mildred Jeter (black woman) married and were arrested as a result of their interracial marriage. When their case went to Supreme Court, they decided that prohibiting interracial marriage was unconstitutional, finally legalizing interracial marriage. – pbs.org
- In 1968, Shirley Chisholm was elected to the House of Representative to represent New York. She was the first African American woman in the House of Representatives. – history.com