By: Melvin Harris
Black History Month has not always been celebrated for a whole month. It was originally only celebrated for a week. Carter G. Woodson was an African American historian who is best known as the, “Father of Black History”. He chose February as the month in which Black History would be celebrated because of the birth dates of Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. What started out as a weekly tradition to honor two abolitionists, has turned into a month long celebration of Black History.
The following people are just a few of the people who have had a great impact on the advancement of African Americans and have enriched Black History Month with their accomplishments.
In 1881, Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama (now known as Tuskegee University), which grew immensely and focused on training African Americans in agricultural pursuits.
W.E.B. Du Bois, aka William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.) in 1909.
Ruby Bridges was the first African-American child to attend an all-white public elementary school in the American South. Bridges’ bravery paved the way for continued Civil Rights action and she’s shared her story with future generations in educational forums.
All of their actions in society has made a big impact and it is very evident. These leaders demonstrated our values of learning, leading, and serving.