February is Black History month, an annual celebration of the achievements of African Americans. The 2022 theme is Black Health and Wellness, to explore the legacy of Black scholars in Western medicine and the traditional healing arts. Black History Month began in 1915, by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now the Association of for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Visit https://asalh.org
The organization is holding a virtual festival all month long, with workshops and seminars, author events, the announcement of the ASALH Book Prize, and more.
Most major networks will run special programming for Black History Month.
Learn more about these prominent African Americans and places of significance at the links provide.
Black Wall Street
Tulsa’s “Balck Wall Street” flourished as a self-contained hub in the early 1900s, with luxury shops, theatres, restaurants, a library, pool halls and nightclubs. Until a white mob attacked for two days of bloodshed and destruction.
Frederick Douglass house
The gounds of theFrederick Douglass National Historic Site are open, with limited hours, and no in person tours due to the pandemic.
You can tour it virually at https://www.nps.gov/frdo/index.htm
Mr. Douglass lived at Cedar Hill in Washington, DC, for the last 13 years of his life. The 20-room colonial mansion has been preserved as a national historic site.
Visit https://www.nps.gov/frdo/index.htm to tour other historic places, and join online programming during the month of February.
In 1957, Daisy Bates, civil rights activist, newspaper publisher and head of the Arkansas NAACP, helped nine African American students to become the first to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, who became known as the Little Rock Nine. Visit https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14563865
Her home is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit https://civilrightstrail.com/attraction/daisy-bates-house/
Bessie Blount Griffin
Bessie Blount Griffin invented a device that enabled paralyzed or limbless World War II veterans to feed themselves. She also became a forensics expert.
Garret Augustus Morgan
Owner of a sewing machine retail and repair shop Garret A. Morgan invented the gas mask and the traffic signal. After he used his “gas inhaler” to save lives of people trapped after a big explosion, he received many orders for his device. After people found out he was Black, orders dropped off and he had to pass himself off as an Indian, with a white man demonstrating his device.
Visit Black History Magazine online https://bkhonline.com/332-2/
A key figure behind behind the light bulb and the telephone, collaborating with Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison. Mr. Latimer also helped found the Unitarian church in Flushing NY.
Dr. Jackson’s research paved the way for the touch-tone phone, portable fax, caller ID, call waiting and fiber-optics. She is currently the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Marie Van Brittan Brown
Ms. Brown was a nurse who invented the closed circuit television home security system.
Mr. Boykin’s most noteworthy inventions include a wire precision resistor used in TVs and a control unit for the pacemaker. He had 26 patents in his name, including a device used in guided missiles and IBM computers.
Engineer Marian Croak and Ophthalmologist Patricia Bath
Ms. Croak and Ms. Bath are the first two women to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame… in 2022 (announced in September).
Dr. Bath’s work reshaped cataract surgery. She died in 2019 at 76.
“Bath invented laserphaco, a minimally invasive device and technique that performs all steps of cataract removal, from making the incision to destroying the lens to vacuuming out the fractured pieces,” according to NPR.
Ms. Croak currently leads Google’s Research Center for Responsible AI and Human Centered Technology. She has more than 200 patents to her name. Her work includes Voice over Internet Protocol, and creating a text-to-donate system for donations in disasters, and bringing broadband to developing countries.
A mathetatician and astronomer, Mr. Banneker built a clock entirely out of wood. He published an almanac from 1791 to 1801, and he worked on the surveying team that laid out Washington, DC, having impressed Thomas Jefferson who recommended him for the job.
Cabaret artist who performed for big names such as Frank Sinatra and Ernest Hemingway. President Ronald Reagan presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983.
Charlotta Amanda Spears Bass
Likely the first African American woman to own a newspaper in the US. By the 1930s, “The California Eagle” was the largest African American paper on the west coast.
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