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Trusted Senior Specialists Honors Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and it’s interesting to explore and note how it came about, and to be reminded of the many great African American contributors to our country.  

While it started out as being one week, over time it got extended to the whole month.  More on that reason later.

So why February?  It was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, and Fredercik Douglass. President Lincoln of course, the 16th US president, paved the way for the abolition of slavery with his Emancipation Proclamation.  Douglass was an escaped slave turned activist, and author, and a prominent leader in the abolisitonsist movment to end slavery, according to

In 1960, the Civil Rights movement helped elevate Negro History week to national prominence and turn it into a month long celebration.  As a result, in 1976 President Gerald Ford made things official, proclaiming February to be honored and recognized as Black History Month.

You don’t have to look far to see the many impressive achievements of black men and women in the fields of science, politics, law, sports, entertainment and many others.  Here are just some of the most notable names you’ll want to celebrate this month:

  • Harriet Tubman – Underground Railroad “Conductor,” Civil Rights Activist
  • Alice Ball – Chemist
  • Josephine Baker – Singer, Dancer, Civil Rights Activist
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. – Baptist Minister and Social Activist
  • Rosa Parks – Civil Rights Activist
  • Mary Jackson – Scientist, Mathematician, NASA’s First Black Female Engineer
  • Maya Angelou – Civil Rights Activist, Author, Poet
  • Joycelyn Elders – First African-American U.S. Surgeon General
  • Colin Powell – U.S. Secretary of State, Four-Star General (U.S. Army)
  • Barack Obama – U.S. President, U.S. Senator, Lawyer
  • shares another impressive list of African American Achievers such as:
  • Heavyweight Champ: Jack Johnson became the first African American man to hold the World Heavyweight Champion boxing title in 1908. He held onto the belt until 1915.
  • First Lawyer: John Mercer Langston was the first Black man to become a lawyer when he passed the bar in Ohio in 1854. When he was elected to the post of Town Clerk for Brownhelm, Ohio, in 1855 Langston became one of the first African Americans ever elected to public office in America. John Mercer Langston was also the great-uncle of Langston Hughes, famed poet of the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Famous Protestors and Activists: While Rosa Parks is credited with helping to spark the civil rights movement when she refused to give up her public bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955—inspiring the Montgomery Bus Boycott—the lesser-known Claudette Colvin was arrested nine months prior for not giving up her bus seat to white passengers.
  • Eminent Scientist: George Washington Carver developed 300 derivative products from peanuts among them cheese, milk, coffee, flour, ink, dyes, plastics, wood stains, soap, linoleum, medicinal oils and cosmetics.
  •  First Woman Representative: Shirley Chisholm was the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives. She was elected in 1968 and represented the state of New York. She broke ground again four years later in 1972 when she was the first major party African American candidate and the first female candidate for president of the United States.
  • Self-Made Millionaire: Madam C.J. Walker was born on a cotton plantation in Louisiana and became wealthy after inventing a line of African American hair care products. She established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories and was also known for her philanthropy.

Be inspired, grateful and respectful for all these amazing folks from our history.

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