Second in a series for the month of February
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 provided.
Many of these came from https://www.stagesoffreedom.org.
W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site
Great Barrington, MA
Champion of civil rights and leader for world peace and freedom on the national and world stages, W.E.B. Du Bois began his life’s work in Great Barrington, Mass. The site is a collaborative project to identify and interpret those sites in and around Great Barrington that were influential in the life of W.E.B. Du Bois.
Congdon Street Baptist Church
The most historical church in Rhode Island, dicusssions to create the Congdon Street Baptist Church began in 1819. It was dedicated in 1821 as The African Union Meeting House. After it was torn down by hostile white neighbors, the church was rebuilt nearby and the name was changed to Congdon Street Baptist Church in 1875.
Learn more at https://www.congdonstreet.org/our-history/
Buffalo Solider Monument
Ft. Leavenworth, KS
The 10th Cavalry was an all African American regiment which was formed at Fort Leavenworth on September 21, 1866 and was the regiment that the Indians first called “Buffalo Soldiers.” In time, all of the all-black regiments in the United States Army were call Buffalo Soldiers and it was a sign of honor.
Learn more at http://kansastravel.org/buffalosoldiermonument.htm
Maggie Lena Walker
Maggie Lena Walker was one of the foremost femail business leaders in the US. She became the first woman to own a bank in the US.
Her home in Richmond, VA has been designated a National Historic Site: https://www.nps.gov/mawa/index.htm
Warren H. Wheeler
Black aviator Warren Wheeler established the first African American owned and operated air service in the US. He was the first airline owner to use government employment training programs to train blacks who wanted careers in the airline industry, and helped them find jobs. He still operates an air travel company in the Caribbean Islands.
John H. Johnson
Publisher of “Ebony” and Jet,” which were much more than magazines to Black America. He was named to the Forbes 400 richest Americans, and was on the boards of several Fortune 500 companies.
Mary McLeod Bethune
An educator and civil rights activitst, Mary McLeod Bethune became the hights ranking African American woman in government when FDR named her director of Negro Affairs of the National Youoth Administration. She was the only woman of color at the founding conference of the United Nations in 1945, having been appointed by President Truman. Her home is a National Historic Site.
Visit her home at https://www.nps.gov/mamc/index.htm
Ben E. King
Member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, singer, songwriter, mentor and philantrhopist Ben E. King is a legend in rock & roll and rhythm & blues. Hits include “This Magic Moment,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” and “Spanish Harlem.”
Learn more at https://www.beneking.info
The “King of Soul,” Otis Redding was also a savvy businessman who started his own recording label. He was involved in a variety of business ventures, not all related to music. He was inducted into the Rocka nd Roll Hall of Fame in 1989. “Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” is his biggest worldwide hit, and was the last song he recorded before his death. He was killed in a plane crash on his private plane in 1967, at the age of 26.
Learn more at https://otisredding.com
Poet James Mercer Langston Hughes also wrote plays, novels, and short stories.
Learn more at https://poets.org/poet/langston-hughes
Poet Robert Hayden was born Asa Bundy Sheffey into a poor family in Detroit. He was the first African American appointed Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. He was a university professor of English.
His poems include a series on slaverty and the Civil War.
Learn more at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/robert-hayden
The Men of Alpha Phi Alpha
The first black fraternity at Brown University
In 1921, 11 men formed a chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, and the university refused to recognize it. Learn more at https://www.brownalumnimagazine.com/index.php/articles/2021-06-22/browns-first-black-fraternity
Successful as a grocer, land owner and gardener, George Henry was the first person of color in RI to serve as a juror. Read his book, Life of George Henry, Together with A Brief History of the Colored People in America, at https://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/henryg/henryg.html
Click here to download the entire 2/10/22 issue: 02-10-22 HollyFeed
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