Black History Month

February is Black History Month. Now, I don’t know about you but, I remember choosing an influential person and making a poster about them! Below is one of mine from second grade.

But, as I’ve grown, the acknowledgment of black culture has decreased. I remember even forgetting about the national holiday because of the lack of awareness. Now, the activist groups are ensuring that this month is not forgotten whether people like it or not.

Below are 28 influential black people for every day of the month in no particular order

  1. Martin Luther King Jr- Rights activist and spokesperson for the Civil Rights Movement and preacher known for his “I Have a Dream” speech
  2. Rosa Parks- Activist in the Civil Rights Movement, nicknamed “George Washington Carver- Chemist and inventor for improving agriculture
  3. Malcolm X- Minister and human rights activist.
  4. Nelson Mandela- First South African black head of state and first elected in full represented democratic election (’94-’99), anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist
  5. Nina Simone – Singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and activist in the Civil Rights Movement with a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop (my favorite is Feeling Good)
  6. Carry White- First black graduate from the FSDB deaf department in 1925
  7. Lousie Jones- First black graduate from the FSDB blind department in 1914
  8. Sojourner Truth – Abolitionist and women’s rights activist that escaped from slavery with her daughter in 1826
  9. Booker T Washington- Main black educator of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and major influence/figure on southern race relations and black public affairs
  10. Harriet Tubman (fun fact: I did my 5th-grade oral presentation on her!)- Abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War
  11. Maya Angelou- Poet, author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, and civil rights activist known for her 1969 memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African-American woman
  12. Langston Hughes- Novelist, playwright, poet, and a primary contributor to the 1920s Harlem Renaissance
  13. Jackie Robinson- First black athlete to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century as one of the game’s most talented and exciting players and a vocal civil rights activist
  14. Muhammad Ali- Boxer, philanthropist, 1960 Olympic gold winner, and social activist regarded as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century
  15. Ruby Bridges – Civil rights activist and first African-American in an all-white school (William Frantz Elementary School during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960)
  16. Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr. – First African-American general officer (and soon commander) in the U.S. Air Force of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen
  17. Bessie Coleman –  Civil aviator and first woman of African-American descent to hold a pilot license
  18. Mae Jemison – First African American woman to travel in space (Endeavor shuttle in 1992), engineer, physician and NASA astronaut
  19. Sarah Breedlove, known as Madam C. J. Walker, – African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, a political and social activist, first female self-made millionaire
  20. Louis Armstrong- Trumpeter, composer, singer, actor, and one of the most influential figures in jazz
  21. Ella Fitzgerald – Most popular female jazz singer known as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella
  22. W.E.B. Du Bois – First African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University, spokesperson for African-American rights during the first half of the 20th century, co-founder of the NAACP
  23. Thurgood Marshall – Lawyer and first black justice on the Supreme Court
  24. Jane Bolin – First black woman to be a U.S.  judge (1932), earn a law degree from Yale, pass the New York State bar exam and join the city’s law department
  25. John Baxter Taylor Jr. – First African American to win an Olympic gold medal


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