Section 1 of the Untied States Constitution states that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Banning and abolishing slavery were the grounds and roots of Black History.
On February 3rd 1870, the 15th amendment granting blacks the right to vote was passed, and on February 12, 1909 The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also known as the NAACP was founded. The NAACP was founded in response to the many racial issues such as the lynching of African Americans, the Segregation of black and whites and the Springfield race riots.
The NAACP is the oldest and largest grassroots-based civil rights organization in the nation. Their mission is to “ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.”
When it comes to Black History one can’t forget about the many highly influential individuals that have not only shaped, transformed and inspired the African American Community, but also played various rolls in the advancement in technology, safety and the education of this nation. A few of these influential people and groups are the Tuskegee Airmen, W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Malcolm X.
The Tuskegee Airmen were a male group of African Americans that served in the Army Air Corps, fighting for the U.S in World War II. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. Together they broke down the racial barrier hindering African Americans from serving as pilots in the air force.
When it comes to education, William Edward Burghardt was the go-to guy. Burghardt, commonly know as W. E. B. Du Bois, was the first African American to earn a doctorate. He would go on to become a professor of history, sociology and economics. Du Bois attended and graduated from Harvard and Atlanta University. He was a civil rights activist that fought for equal rights for blacks.
One of the oldest African Americans activists is Araminta Harriet Ross best known as Harriet Tubman. Tubman was African-American abolitionist that not only escaped from slavery but also made more than thirteen missions to rescue more than 70 slaves. Her network of transporting slaves to safe houses with the help of antislavery activists was called “The Underground Railroad.”
Martin Luther King Jr. was the prominent leader in the African American Civil Rights Movement. His use of nonviolent civil rebellion caused him to be labeled as a national icon in American & Black history. King is also well known for his famous “Montgomery Boycott” and “I Have a Dream” speech.
Next is Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, also known as just Rosa Parks; an American civil rights activist. On her usual bus ride home, Parks was prompted to give up her seat to a white passenger. Parks defiance and refusal lead to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, an important symbol of the Civil Rights Movement. The U.S. Congress declared her “The first lady of the civil rights movement and the mother of the freedom movement.”
Last but not least is Malcolm Little, known as Malcolm X. X advocated for the rights of blacks. He was also a Muslim minister. X believed that “Human rights are something you were born with. Human rights are your God given rights that are recognized by all nations of this earth.”
Very few know that Back History had barely begun to be studied or documented when the tradition of Black History Week was created in 1926. Since then, Black History Week has become Black History Month. It has also has been included in American history books and is now studied by people all over the world.
For more information about Black History Month and Black History Month events please check out the links below.