Black History Facts: February is Black History Month, which is a month-long commemoration of African American history, contributions, and achievements.  Since its inception in 1913, Black History Month has grown into a month – long celebration of the contributions of African Americans around the world.

Black History Facts

Activists who fought against slavery and persistent prejudice are all part of the rich tapestry of Black history in America, which spans more than 400 years.

In Honor Of Black History Month, 30 Black History Facts

Black historical individuals have made their impact on American history for decades, from trailblazers to inventors, Olympic athletes, and politicians. Unfortunately, many of their contributions go unnoticed. Slavery & Jim Crow segregation laws suppressed their successes. It is still possible for African Americans to make significant contributions to history despite the ugliness of history and the racial gap. Black history in the United States is extensive, ranging from the development of everyday conveniences like elevators and traffic lights to the wide range of cultural expressions now available on television. You may not have known about these lesser-known facts in honour of Black History Month, but here they are.

Black History Facts – Society:

As a way to make sure that children were taught about the history of African Americans, Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the first Negro History Week in 1926. In 1976, it was renamed Black History Month.

As of this writing, he is the only known African-American born in the thirteen colonies. In 1624, he was born in Jamestown, Virginia, and grew up there. As indentured labourers, both of his parents were among the first wave of Africans brought to the British colonies. Elizabeth City County in Virginia, which is now Hampton, was established in 1634 by his parents.

People who had just been emancipated from slavery created the town of Gracia Real De Santa Teresa De Mose, Florida, around this time in the year 1738. The settlement had an estimated population of 100. The first free Black colony in the United States is located about two miles from St. Augustine. After the Seven Years’ War ended in 1763, the settlement was abandoned. It was given this honour in 1994 when it was named a National Historic Landmark by the United States government.

Between 1810 and 1850, an estimated 100,000 slaves escaped to the North on the Underground Railroad.

Since 1777, Vermont has been a slave-free state. Slavery was abolished in Vermont, and full voting rights were granted to African American males.

Lucy Stanton, an educator and abolitionist, was the first African-American woman to get a bachelor’s degree. In 1850, she finished a women’s literary programme at Oberlin College and graduated. It was a call to action against slavery in her graduating address.

Founded and funded by African Americans, Allensworth is the first all-black Californian township to be established. The community was founded in 1908 by Lieutenant Colonel Allen Allensworth with the goal of creating a self-sufficient metropolis where African Americans may live their lives without fear of discrimination.

Only one other woman has ever been identified as a Buffalo Soldier, and that was Cathay Williams. In the Civil War, Williams was born a slave and served as a Union soldier. As William Cathay, she enlisted in the 38th infantry in 1866 and was medically discharged from service in 1868.

Black History Facts – Inventors 

During summer of 1853, a chef & restaurant owner named George “Crum” Speck is credited with accidentally inventing the potato chip. However, according to his sister, Kate, she was the one who came up with the Saratoga chips after a potato slice slipped into a hot frying pan. It was in the early 1920s that a salesman called Herman Lay (the guy behind Lay’s chips) began promoting potato chips to new areas and bringing Crum’s chips back to New York.

The inventions of Garrett Morgan are still saving lives today. It was his invention of the traffic signal, which he patented in 1922, that introduced the yellow light as a third “caution” indication. He patented a traffic light in 1922. He earned a patent for his “Breathing Device,” one of the earliest gas masks, in 1912. First African American guy in Cleveland, Ohio, to purchase a car.

Using elevators became safer because to Alexander Miles’s design. Until now, elevators have been operated manually, requiring passengers to open & close the doors of the elevator and elevator shaft each time they used it. When Miles got his patent in 1887, it included a belt that was attached to the elevator cage and enabled automatic operation of the doors. In 2007, the National Inventors Hall of Fame honoured him with a special induction ceremony.

A patent was issued to Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner in 1957, even though she had already invented the sanitary belt by then. The adjustable belt contained a moisture-proof napkin pocket, which helped to keep the pads in place and prevent leaks.

As an agricultural scientist, George Carver is credited with the development of more than 300 new products manufactured from peanuts. From sweet potatoes he made 118 goods ranging from flour to vinegar to ink to glue for postage stamps.

Co-inventor of IBM’s first personal computer and colour display Mark Dean is a computer scientist and engineer. Among other things, he helped develop the technology that makes it possible to connect peripherals like printers, keyboards, disc drives, and displays directly to computers.

Black History Facts – Sports:

The Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo was founded in 1984 and is the first travelling African American rodeo.

During the London Olympics in 2012, Gabby Douglas becomes first African-American gymnast to win an individual all-around title in the sport.

When Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals at the 1960 Olympics, she became the first woman and first African American woman to accomplish this feat. She was hailed as the world’s quickest woman.

Sheryl Swoopes signed with the WNBA for the first time in 1996, and the league made its debut the following year.

Black History Facts – Politics:

On the same day of Maya Angelou’s birthday, April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed. Coretta Scott King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, received flowers from Angelou for more than 30 years, until her death in 2006.

The day after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, the Godfather of Soul James Brown performed in front of a television audience in Boston. The performance is credited with averting additional unrest.

Revels, Hiram Rhodes, was elected to the US Senate as the nation’s first African American senator. From February 1870 – March 1871, he served as a Mississippi state representative.

George Edwin Taylor, a member of the National Negro Liberty Party, campaigned for president before former President Barack Obama in 1904.

When Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis married President John F. Kennedy, she wore an ivory silk taffeta wedding gown made by African American fashion designer Ann Lowe.

Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder Robert Johnson made history in 2001 when he sold the cable channel for $1 billion, making him the first African American billionaire.

Black History Facts – Arts & Entertainment:

Esther Jones, a Harlem – based jazz vocalist, was the inspiration for the cartoons Betty Boop. Jones’ vocal style was characterised by the usage of “boops,” a childlike scat sound.

Black History Facts

The 14-year-old Penny Proud stars in Disney Channel’s first original animated series, The Proud Family.

Gone With the Wind’s Hattie McDaniel was the first Black woman to receive an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 1940. Twenty-four years later, Sidney Poitier became the first Black man to win an Oscar for his performance in Lilies of the Field.

Sylvia Robinson, a singer and music producer, has been dubbed “Hip-First Hop’s Godmother” for her role in producing the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” Sugar Hill Records was the first hip-hop record label co-owned by her and her husband.

Two Grammy Awards have been bestowed upon Barack Obama, the former president. Dreams from My Father (best spoken word album) got the first Grammy award in 2005, and The Audacity of Hope (also in the best spoken word album category) brought him his second Grammy award in 2007. Author A Promised Land was nominated in 2022 for an audiobook version.

For the first time, the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), which opened in 2021, is solely dedicated to preserving and celebrating African-American musical traditions.