Black History Month acknowledges significance of African-American history


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Posing in her space suit and helmet, Mae Jemison is crowned the first Black woman in space.

Helena Buli, Editor-in-Chief Reflections Yearbook

Black History Month is an annual celebration dedicated to African Americans and their history. February was chosen for this occasion due to the fact that both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthday land in this month. Originally there was a “Negro History Week”, however President Gerald Ford evolved that into Black History Month in 1976.

Black History Month is celebrated in Germany, Canada, and the United States. The Netherlands, Ireland, and the United Kingdom celebrate in October. This month brings recognition towards the troubles and successes in Black History, usually acknowledging Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and many others who are significant in Black History. 

Some ways to celebrate this month are to visit an African American History museum, support Black owned businesses, donate to Black charities such as BLM, watch Black History documentaries, read books by Black authors, and overall educate yourself in Black history.

Nearby places in Pittsburgh to learn about Black History Month include Pittsburgh’s Jazz Legacy, Heinz History Center, Carnegie Science Center, August Wilson African American Cultural Center, and many more! 

A very famous court case regarding Black rights is Brown Vs. The Board of Education. This court case was in 1954, and regarded segregation based upon skin color in schools. The Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in favor that it is unconstitutional to have separate schools for Black and white students because they can’t be equal. This court case helped develop a civil rights movement which continued into the 1960s. 

However, there are many Black individuals who carved a path in history! For instance, Mae Jemison. Jemison was the first black woman in space. Her interest in space began in childhood, and bloomed as she grew older. During her mission in 1992, she did experiments on weightlessness and motion sickness in space. In 1993 she made her own company, The Jemison Group. Not only is she an astronaut, but she’s also a trained medical doctor and is currently running BioSentient Corporation. Jemison continues to inspire young females of color to this day. 

The vast majority of readers have seen a Muhammed Ali quote. One of his famous quotes is, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” He was much more than just a poet though. He was an extremely successful boxer, and always stood up for what he believed in. He was a heavy advocate for civil rights, equality, and peace.

Martin Luther King Jr was one of the most influential black men in history. He is well known for his “I Have a Dream” speech, and was a minister. He spoke up for Black rights from 1955 until 1968, his assassination.