• KL Forslund

Black History Month

Updated: Feb 2

Back in high school, one of my English teachers had posters of many of the famous writers. Hemingway, Dickens, and more ringing the upper walls of the room. To my recollection, most of them were men and white. They all shared a common style, so I’m sure that’s how the set was sold. It was the late eighties and the world was not perfect.


What we know now is there’s a lot of people who got left out of history, not just writers. In February, friends of mine have posted up links and names for Black History Month. I haven’t read them all, but here they are, plus a few more I knew about. I’ve got some reading to do.


Barbara Hillary

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/26/us/barbara-hillary-dead.html

https://barbarahillary.com/


Bob Marley

https://www.bobmarley.com/

https://face2faceafrica.com/article/bob-marley-died-in-1981-but-earns-23m-a-year-after-a-3-decade-legal-battle-over-his-estate


Colin Kapernick

https://www.armytimes.com/opinion/2016/08/30/an-open-letter-to-colin-kaepernick-from-a-green-beret-turned-long-snapper/

https://www.latimes.com/sports/nfl/la-sp-kaepernick-kneel-boyer-20180916-story.html

https://blavity.com/colin-kaepernick-is-starting-his-own-publishing-company-to-counteract-the-negative-narratives-of-black-people?category1=news


Fredi Washington

https://www.history.com/news/fredi-washington-black-actress-hollywood-jim-crow-era?source=history&platform=facebook&postid=sf117497172&sf117497172=1

https://www.amistadresearchcenter.org/single-post/2018/07/02/Fredi-Washington-and-Her-Defining-Role-in-Imitation-of-Life


Gerald Lawson

https://face2faceafrica.com/article/before-atari-this-black-man-invented-the-first-video-game-console-with-changeable-cartridges

https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/lawson-gerald-jerry-anderson-1940-2011/


Dr. Hadiyah- Nicole Green

https://blackculturenews.com/2020/02/dr-green-the-first-person-to-cure-cancer-using-nanoparticles

https://www.essence.com/feature/hello-from-the-other-side-hadiyah-nicole-green-essence/


Harry T. Moore

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2020/02/03/harry-t-moore-african-american-black-civil-rights-leader-florida/4481452002/

https://www.pbs.org/harrymoore/harry/mbio.html


Reverend Dr. Henry Highland Garnet

https://time.com/5124917/black-history-month-henry-highland-garnet/

https://www.nyhistory.org/web/africanfreeschool/bios/henry-highland-garnet.html


James Zwerg

https://spartacus-educational.com/USAzwerg.htm

https://theundefeated.com/features/thank-you-freedom-rider/


Sgt. 1st Class Janina Simmons

https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com/blogs/botwc-firsts/meet-the-first-african-american-woman-to-graduate-from-u-s-army-ranger-school?_pos=1&_sid=87dc57d55&_ss=r

https://www.army.mil/article/221268/one_of_fort_jacksons_finest


Julian F. Abele

https://www.curbed.com/2017/12/6/16743328/julian-abele-black-architect-of-duke-university

https://spotlight.duke.edu/abele/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/out-of-the-shadows-85569503/


Kalief Browder

https://face2faceafrica.com/article/the-life-and-suicide-of-kalief-browder-a-victim-of-mike-bloombergs-stop-and-frisk

https://www.themarshallproject.org/records/1501-kalief-browder


Langston Hughes

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/langston-hughes

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/23/sojourner


Lonnie Johnson

https://blackculturenews.com/2020/01/lonnie-johnson-super-soaker-creator-awarded-72-9m-from-hasbro

https://www.lonniejohnson.com/


Malcom X

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2020/02/21/today-history-february-21-1965-malcolm-x-assassinated/4793133002/

https://www.malcolmx.com/


Marie Van Brittan Brown

https://libertywritersglobal.com/meet-black-woman-who-invented-the-home-security-system-in-1966/

https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/brown-marie-van-brittan-1922-1999/


Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mb5yap/mary-beatrice-davidson-kenner-sanitary-belt

https://goodblacknews.org/2020/02/05/bhm-mary-beatrice-davidson-kenner-the-forgotten-inventor-who-revolutionized-menstrual-pads/


Dr. Maya Angelou

https://www.mayaangelou.com/


Nina Simone

https://www.albumism.com/celebrations/happy-birthday-nina-simone

https://longreads.com/2017/04/20/a-history-of-american-protest-music-when-nina-simone-sang-what-everyone-was-thinking/

http://www.ninasimone.com/bio/


Octavia Butler

https://octaviabutler.org/


Polly Jackson

https://face2faceafrica.com/article/the-heroics-of-aunt-polly-jackson-who-fought-off-white-slavers-to-protect-fugitives-in-the-mid-1800s


Robert Smalls

https://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/which-slave-sailed-himself-to-freedom/

https://history.house.gov/People/Detail/21764

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/thrilling-tale-how-robert-smalls-heroically-sailed-stolen-confederate-ship-freedom-180963689/


Sandra Bland

https://www.essence.com/op-ed/what-it-means-to-say-her-name/


Sidney Poitier

https://www.kiss104fm.com/entertainment/sidney-poitier-celebrates-his-92nd-birthday/nMzegHBdF2ZWMWVDEwsJXK/

https://www.biography.com/actor/sidney-poitier


Rev. William Washington Browne

https://www.blackbusiness.com/2016/02/first-ever-black-owned-bank-founder-once-a-slave.html?m=1

https://face2faceafrica.com/article/from-slave-to-founder-of-the-first-black-owned-bank-how-william-washington-browne-rose-to-prominence


Sarranounia Mangou

https://thenubianqueen.net/sarraounia-mangou-the-black-queen-who-beat-the-french-and-saved-her-people/

https://face2faceafrica.com/article/sarraounia-mangou-the-sorceress-african-queen-who-cleverly-fought-the-french-in-the-1899-battle-of-lougou


Toni Morrison

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/06/books/toni-morrison-dead.html

https://www.tonimorrisonsociety.org/

https://www.biography.com/writer/toni-morrison

https://www.womenshistory.org/education-resources/biographies/toni-morrison


This list isn’t definitive or ranked (I sorted by first name). Some lives were cut tragically short. Each should be known as well as Hemingway and Thomas Jefferson. It’s hard to fit everybody’s poster on a classroom wall, but until everybody is at least represented, we’ll need months dedicated to raising our awareness of those left out.


Happy Black History Month.



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