Black Celebratory Moments in History!
Lisa Gelobter invented the Gif. Thank her for making your tweets so funny!
The Black Panthers launched programs such as free dental care, free breakfast, and drama classes in underserved black communities.
One of the most prominent doctors of his time, Dr. Charles Drew created the first major blood banks, blood plasma programs and bloodmobiles.
A full-time nurse named Marie Van Brittan Brown invented the first home security system.
The Black Panther character first appeared in comics in 1966.
In 2008, Usain Bolt became the first man to win three world records at a single Olympics event.
The dance form of stepping originated in Africa. The African gumboot dance is credited as being stepping’s biggest influence.
In addition to being a millionaire entrepreneur, Madam C.J. Walker was a civil rights activist. In 1917, she was part of a delegation that traveled to the White House to petition President Woodrow Wilson to make lynching a federal crime.
In the 1800s, Philadelphia was known as the "Black Capital of Anti–Slavery" because of its strong abolitionist presence, which included groups like the Philadelphia Anti–Slavery Society.
The first recorded Black person to arrive in Canada was an African named Mathieu de Coste who arrived in 1608 to serve as interpreter of the Mi'kmaq language to the governor of Acadia.
Musician Stevie Wonder recorded the cries of his newborn daughter, Aisha Morris, for his popular song, "Isn't She Lovely?"
African American baseball legend Jackie Robinson had an older brother, Matthew, who won a silver medal in the 200-meter dash at the 1936 Olympics. He came in second to Jesse Owens
In 1881, Sophia B. Packard and Harriet E. Giles founded what would become the first college for Black women in the United States. The school was named Spelman College after Laura Spelman Rockefeller and her parents, who were abolitionists. Laura was also the wife of John D. Rockefeller, who made a significant donation to the school.
Barack Obama has won two Grammy Awards. He was first honored in 2005 for the audio version of his memoir, Dreams from My Father (best spoken word album), and received his second Grammy (in the same category) in 2007 for his political work, The Audacity of Hope.
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.
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).
The "King of Pop," Michael Jackson, co-wrote the single "We Are the World" with Motown legend Lionel Richie. The track became one of the best-selling singles of all time, earning millions of dollars donated to famine relief in Africa.
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.
When African American neurosurgeon Ben Carson was a child, his mother required him to read two library books a week and give her written reports, even though she was barely literate. She would then take the papers and pretend to carefully review them, placing a checkmark at the top of the page to show her approval. The assignments inspired Carson's eventual love of reading and learning.
In 1938, first lady Eleanor Roosevelt challenged the segregation rules at the Southern Conference on Human Welfare in Birmingham, Alabama, so she could sit next to African American educator and activist Mary McLeod Bethune. Roosevelt would come to refer to Bethune as "her closest friend in her age group."
Scientist and Mathematician Benjamin Banneker is credited with helping to deign the blueprints for Washington, D.C.
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on friend Maya Angelou's birthday, on April 4th 1968. Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday for years afterwards, and sent flowers to King's widow, Coretta Scott King, for more than 30 years, until Corettas death in 2006.
The first licensed African American Female pilot was named Bessie Coleman
In 1965, Lincoln Alexander ran in the Canadian federal election as the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada candidate in the Hamilton West electoral district but was defeated. He ran again in the 1968 federal election and on June 25, 1968, he won the seat, becoming Canada's first Black Member of Parliament
In December 1995, the Parliament of Canada officially recognized February as Black History Month, following a motion introduced by the first black Canadian woman elected to Parliament, the Honourable Jean Augustine, MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, who at the time was Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. The motion was carried unanimously by the House of Commons.
Viola Desmond was an African Canadian woman from Nova Scotia. She lived in a time when black women were expected to be servants in houses, and black men were expected to be servants on trains. From a young age, Viola dreamed of having her own business. By 1946, she was making her dreams come true. Viola was only 32, yet she had her own beauty salon. She had set up a school to train other black women to work in the beauty business. She also had her own line of beauty products.
In 1926, Carter Godwin Woodson established Negro History Week, which later became Black History Month. The month of February was chosen in honor of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, who were both born in that month.