We figured since today is a special day within a very special month, we compiled a list of fun black history/modern facts that will help you be able to say “I learned something today”. Even I, an advocate for black sovereignty, was surprised by a few of these. Here they are. Feel free to do some further research after your mind gets blown.
- 1. Black History Month began as Negro History Week.
- 2. Stevie Wonder helped make Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday a national holiday with the assistance of special lyrics from his “Happy Birthday” song.
- 3. The dance form of stepping originated in Africa. The African gumboot dance is credited as being stepping’s biggest influence.
- 4. In 2008, Usain Bolt became the first man to win three world records at a single Olympics event.
- 5. The Black Panther character first appeared in comics in 1966.
- 6. A full-time nurse named Marie Van Brittan Brown invented the first home security system.
- 7. Countries like the United Kingdom and the Netherlands celebrate Black History Month in October.
- 8. One of the most prominent doctors of his time, Dr. Charles Drew created the first major blood banks, blood plasma programs and bloodmobiles.
- 9. The Black Panthers launched programs such as free dental care, free breakfast, and drama classes in underserved black communities.
- 10. Lisa Gelobter invented the Gif. Thank her for making your tweets so funny!
- 11. Lincoln University in Pennsylvania became the first degree-granting institution of higher education for African Americans. It paved the way for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
- 12. Cathay Williams became the first and only female Buffalo soldier in 1866. She would pose as a male for two years until a doctor discovered that she was a woman, which led to her immediate discharge.
- 13. The year 2019 marks 400 years since the first documented Africans arrived in the United States via Point Comfort, Virginia.
- 14. John Mercer Langston became the first African American lawyer in the United States when he passed the bar in 1854. He’s also the great-uncle of famed Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes.
- 15. Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African American person elected to the U.S. Senate. She served from February 1870 to March 1871.
- 16. Elijah McCoy is regarded as one of the most prominent black inventors ever. He’s credited for inventing over 50 devices in his career, including a “lubricating cup,” which automatically dripped oil when needed.
- 17. Mathematician and scientist Benjamin Banneker is credited for designing the layout of Washington, D.C.
- 18. Politician and educator Shirley Chisholm survived three assassination attempts during her campaign for the Democratic nomination for the United States presidency in 1972.
- 19. The largest women’s organization is the National Council of Negro Women, which was founded by educator and political leader Mary McLeod Bethune.
- 20. Xavier University, a historically black college in Louisiana, has one of the highest success rates in the country for getting their graduates into medical school.
Told you these would blow your mind. What was your favorite fact? Let us know!
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