30 Facts for Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month here are 30 Facts you might not have been aware of...

  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a civil rights organization, was founded in 1909
  • Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,”
  • Created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher
  • February was chosen to coincide with Frederick Douglass’s and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays
  • Woodson built Negro History Week around traditional days of commemorating the black past to extend public’s study of black history
  • The 1920s was the decade of the New Negro, the Post-War I generation with rising racial pride and consciousness
  • In the 1940s, efforts increased within black community to expand the study of black history in the schools
  • During the Civil Rights Movement in the South, some schools incorporated Black history into the curriculum with the hopes of advancing social change
  • As early as 1940s, blacks in West Virginia began to celebrate February as Negro History Month
  • Became a national  month-long celebration in 1976
  • Canada celebrates Black History Month in February
  • The  U.K. celebrates Black History Month in October
  • In 1739, the Stono Rebellion in South Carolina became the largest slave revolt in colonial America
  • The first black U.S. senator was Hiram Revels in 1870
  • 1 in 4 cowboys was Black, despite the stories told in popular books and movies
  • Dr. Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to go into space aboard the space shuttle Endeavor in 1992
  • Thurgood Marshall was the first African American appointed to the United States Supreme Court
  • Jack Johnson was the first African-American man to hold the World Heavyweight Champion boxing title in 1908.
  • Jazz, an African–American musical form born out of the blues, ragtime and marching bands, originated in Louisiana during the turn of the 19th century
  • At a time when universities did not typically offer financial assistance to black athletes, African-American football star Ernie Davis was offered more than 50 scholarships.
  • Josiah Henson fled slavery in Maryland in 1830 and later founded a settlement in Ontario, Canada, for other black citizens who had escaped
  • Hall-of-Famer Jackie Robinson helped establish the African American-owned and -controlled Freedom Bank
  • John Baxter Taylor was the first African American to win an Olympic gold medal
  • Alexa Canady became the first female African-American neurosurgeon in the United States.
  • Cathay Williams was the first and only known female Buffalo Soldier during the Civil War
  • Quincy Jones is the most Grammy-nominated artist in the history of the awards with 76 nominations and 26 awards.
  • Scientist and mathematician Benjamin Banneker is credited with helping to design the blueprints for Washington, D.C.
  • George Monroe and William Robinson are thought to be two of the first African Americans to work as Pony Express riders
  • Inventor of the three-way traffic signal, Garrett Morgan, became the first African American to own a car in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Satchel Paige was the first African-American pitcher to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame


Written By: O. Greendyk

Feb 1