Black History Month And Influential African American Figures
by HOT 96.9
February is annual Black History Month and it celebrates the achievements by black Americans. Scroll through the page to read up on the origins of Black History Month and see some of the important figures that played a role in African American history.
The story of Black History Month began in September of 1915, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. The ASALH sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the Civil Rights Movement, Negro History Week had transformed into Black History Month. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976.
Some Of The Most Influential African American Figures In Black History:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 - 1968) sits on a couch and speaks on the telephone after encountering a white mob protesting against the Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Alabama, May 26, 1961. (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images) (Photo by Express Newspapers/Getty Images)
Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013 )
Mandela spent most of his life campaigning for an end to apartheid in South Africa. After over 20 years in prison, he was released and was able to be the first elected President in post apartheid South Africa. Also admired for his forgiveness and willingness to reach out to the white community in South Africa.
Frederick Douglass (1818-1895)
American orator, editor, author, abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass (1818 - 1895) edits a journal at his desk, late 1870s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Malcolm X (1925-1965)
Portrait of human rights activist Malcolm X reading stories about himself in a pile of newspapers, circa 1963. (Photo by Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) (Photo by Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005)
DEARBORN, MI - OCTOBER 25: The bus made famous by civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks sits on display draped with mourning bunting October 25, 2005 at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Rosa Parks died in her apartment in Detroit on October 24 at the age of 92. December 1 will be the 50th anniversary of the day that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images) (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Maya Angelou. (1928 – 2014)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 09: Maya Angelou speaks during the AARP Magazine's 2011 Inspire Awards at Ronald Reagan Building on December 9, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images) (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
Marian Anderson (1897 - 1993)
Anderson was the first African-American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. (Photo by London Express/Getty Images) (Photo by London Express/Getty Images)
Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 6: Jesse Jackson Sr. speaks at the Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers Protest at Chuck's Gun Shop on June 6, 2015 in Riverdale, Illinois. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence) (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)
WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 23: John Lewis attends the U.S. Postal Service Unveiling of the 1963 March On Washington Stamp on August 23, 2013 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images for U.S. Postal Service) (Photo by Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images for U.S. Postal Service)
Thurgood Marshall is known as the first Black Justice of the United States Supreme Court but he is really defined by his work as a civil rights lawyer which redefined life in the United States. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
African-American civil rights activist Bayard Rustin (1912 - 1987) talks to a reporter during the Harlem Riots in Manhattan, 23rd July 1964. (Photo by Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) (Photo by Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Barack Obama (1961- )
First US African American President. Obama served two terms as President and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Rice served as State Department secretary from 2005-2009 under President George W. Bush. (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images) (Photo by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04: Former Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.) onstage at A Capitol Fourth concert at the U.S. Capitol, West Lawn, on July 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts) 545011290.jpg January 31, 2017 524 KB 3000 × 2240 Edit Image Delete Permanently URL https://files.greatermedia.com/uploads/sites/20/2017/01/545011290.jpg Title A Capitol Fourth Caption Colin Powell WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 04: Former Gen. Colin Powell (Ret.) onstage at A Capitol Fourth concert at the U.S. Capitol, West Lawn, on July 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts) Alt Text Description