Things we wouldn’t have if it weren't for Black inventors:
Improved Version of Refrigerator
Automatic Elevator Doors
Home Security Systems
For More: Buzzfeed list of black inventors
Famous African Americans and their Role in History:
Black History Month is a celebration of achievements made by African Americans and their role in history. “Since 1976, every U.S. President has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.” The United States isn't the only country to celebrate Black History Month, other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, also dedicate certain month(s) to Black History. To celebrate Black History Month on The Lance, here is a list of some of the most influential African Americans, including activists and civil rights pioneers, as well as, cultural leaders:
Jackie Robinson (1919-1972): Robinson was the first African American major league baseball player. “On April 15, 1947, Robinson broke the decades-old “color line” of Major League Baseball when he appeared on the field for the National League Brooklyn Dodgers. He played as an infielder and outfielder for the Dodgers from 1947 through 1956.” Although the position came with a lot of hate from fans and players, Robinson was given multiple awards and Honors for his bravery and the legacy he left behind. If it weren’t for Robinson African American men would not be able to put on a MLB jersey.
Aretha Franklin (1942- 2018): Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, was a singer/songwriter and civil rights activist. Franklin has sold over 75 million copies of her albums and used her music to spread awareness. Franklin is recognized to have changed the dynamic of music and its culture. She was in the music industry for nearly 60 years before her death and her legacy continues to live on.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968): Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights leader and activist- also a minister- who led the civil rights movement in the 50s up until he died in 1968. MLK is very well known for his success in ending segregation of African Americans in the South and his speeches that led him to do so. At age six, King was already being treated differently and he knew that was wrong. King devoted his life to changing the dynamic of the United States and the racial discrimination that surrounded it. King participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and many other protests that contributed to his legacy.
Oprah Winfrey- Born in 1954, Oprah Winfrey, a TV personality and actress has become one of the most influential women in the United States. Oprah has won many awards for her charitable personality and multiple Emmys for her talk show host, The Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah is recognized for her admirable contributions to minorities, “In 2007 she opened a $40 million school for disadvantaged girls in South Africa. She also became an outspoken crusader against child abuse.”
Bessie Coleman (1892-1926): Bessie Coleman was an American Aviator and star of early aviation shows. “Coleman grew up in Waxahatchie, Texas, where her mathematical aptitude freed her from working in the cotton fields. She attended college in Langston, Oklahoma, briefly, before moving to Chicago, where she worked as a manicurist and restaurant manager and became interested in the then new profession of aviation.” Coleman experienced loads of discrimination in aviation school where she learned even more that she would have to work twice as hard to become accomplished in the United States. Ultimately Coleman became the first African American woman to receive and hold a pilot license.
Maya Angelou (1928- 2014): Maya Angelou was a successful poet, actress, and memoirist who explored themes of racial, economic, and sexual discrimination. Angelou was very successful: “Angelou’s first autobiographical work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), gained critical acclaim and a National Book Award nomination. Her best-known poem is perhaps On the Pulse of Morning, which she composed and delivered for the inauguration of U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton in 1993.” Angelou was also awarded an NAACP award and left a huge legacy behind.
Happy Black History Month!