Black History Month

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Alyssa Barnes

2/18/19

In 1926, Carter G. Woodson created what would become the foundation for Black History Month: “Negro History Week”. Woodson, along with many others, became frustrated that American History courses did not include much information about African Americans, and no information about any of their accomplishments. This was the start of “Negro History Week”, which was held during the 2nd week in February. This continued until 1976, when President Gerald Ford declared Black History Month would be held during the entire month of February every year to follow.
To celebrate Black History Month 2019, here are some lesser known facts about African Americans from history as well as present day.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” Speech
It is no secret that Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech was one for the books. What a lot of people don’t know is that the most famous part, the “I have a dream” repetition, was not something he planned to say on that day at the Lincoln Memorial. A good friend of King, Mahalia Jackson, yelled from the crowd “tell ‘em about the dream”. King proceeded to go off, and thus the very famous speech was born. You can read the story in more detail here.
Old Western Movies & Cowboys
Most are familiar with a genre of movies called Old Western movies. They include stories of cowboys and crime fighting. 1 in 4 cowboys were black, but a lot of people do not know this because of the depiction of the Wild West from the movies.
Barack Obama
Obama grew up in Hawaii and worked at Baskin Robbins as a teenager. He became the first African American editor of the Harvard Law Review. He was also the 44th President of the United States, serving 2 terms, and was America’s first African American President. You can read these facts about President Obama and more here.
Richard & Mildred Loving
Richard and Mildred Loving were an interracial couple during a time where that was still considered a crime in the United States. They were legally married in Washington D.C., but in the State of Virginia it was still illegal. Virginia is where they had made their home, so in 1958, they were arrested for their relationship. Richard and Mildred were given permission to flee back to Washington D.C. in order to avoid time spent in prison. Their case ended up making it to the Supreme Court, and they won, ending racial segregation in the form of marriage. You can read their story in more detail here.
Sources
http://time.com/4197928/history-black-history-month/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2013/08/27/public-speaking-how-mlk-improvised-second-half-of-dream-speech/#1ebc2da35c5b
http://www.pbs.org/black-culture/explore/10-black-history-little-known-facts/
https://www.usnews.com/news/obama/articles/2007/01/16/ten-things-you-didnt-know-about-barack-obama
https://www.biography.com/news/richard-mildred-loving-story