Black History Month, occuring each February, is a month dedicated to celebrating and remembering the history, accomplishments, and triumphs of black American culture, is in full swing.
According to Biography.com, Dr. Carter G. Woodson and Rev. Jesse E. Moorland wanted to highlight the often overlooked role black people played in both American and world history.
To accomplish this goal, they co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.
The pair hoped that their various projects would help instill their race with a sense of pride.
Woodson later founded “Negro History and Literature Week” in 1920, while he was a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity at Harvard University. Woodson later became the second black person to receive a degree from Harvard.
He chose February as the month of celebration to honor Abraham Lincoln, and leading abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Black History Month is now widely recognized and celebrated throughout the month of February.
The following are some interesting facts about influential African Americans “firsts” in politics.
• John Mercer Langston was elected town clerk of Brownhelm Township, Ohio in 1855, making him the first local elected official.
• Hiram Revels was elected Senator for Mississippi in 1870 during Reconstruction.
• William Henry Hastie became the first federal judge in 1946, followed by Constance
• Ralph J. Bunche received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 after mediating the Arab-Israeli truce. Martin Luther King, Jr. followed in his footsteps becoming the second recipient of the prize in 1964.
• Baker Motley, the first African American female judge in 1966.
• Thurgood Marshall is elected U.S. Supreme Court Justice in in 1967.
• Andrew Young is elected U.S. Representative to the UN in 1977.
• L. Douglas Wilder was elected governor of Virginia in 1990.
• Clarence Thomas became the second African American to serve on the Court in 1991.
• Sgt. William H. Carney was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1900 for bravery during the Civil War.
• Gen. Colin Powell was elected U.S. Secretary of State in 2001
• Condoleezza Rice, first African American female Secretary of State, was elected in 2005.
• Sen. Barack Obama defeated Sen. John McCain in the general election on November 4, 2008, and was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States on January 20, 2009, making him the first African American president.
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