Black History Month Appreciation

Judging someone by how they look, what they believe in or what they are is an ignorant thing to do, yet there are many that do this. Black History Month was started by Carter G. Woodson, and this celebration was originally called “Negro History Week,” which was then stretched to a month. Undeniably, there are many Black historical figures to look up to. Let’s give them some appreciation, before the month of February comes to an end.

Frederick Douglass022207-douglassjpg-9e08b70cda0d4b72_medium.jpg

Perhaps one of the most important Black historical figures to fight for the abolishment of slavery. He fought bravely and justly for equal rights.

“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”

Martin Luther King JrCivil_Rights_March_on_Washington,_D.C._(Dr._Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._and_Mathew_Ahmann_in_a_crowd.)_-_NARA_-_542015_-_Restoration.jpg

Famously known for his nonviolent, fair ways of fighting for civil rights and, of course, his inspirational speeches.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Bayard RustinBayardRustin1.jpg

Rustin was a leader in social civil rights, nonviolence and gay rights. He was in the background while teaching and leading.

If we desire a society of peace, then we cannot achieve such a society through violence. If we desire a society without discrimination, then we must not discriminate against anyone in the process of building this society. If we desire a society that is democratic, then democracy must become a means as well as an end.

Willie O’Reetimthumb.jpg

The first Black hockey player and a inspiration to many, he opened a door for Black people and sports.

Jesse Owens120809071752-owens-horizontal-large-gallery.jpg

James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens was an American athlete and a four time gold medal winner in the Berlin Olympic Games.

The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at.

Maya Angeloun-MAYA-ANGELOU-570.jpg

She was a poet, memoirist, performer and on top of that a civil rights activist.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Nina SimoneNina-Simone2.jpg

A very inspirational woman who had an incredible talent for singing and songwriting who worked with many music genres and also an active civil rights believer.

I had spent many years pursuing excellence, because that is what classical music is all about… Now it was dedicated to freedom, and that was far more important.

Hank Aaronclassic-photos-of-hank-aaron_6jc3g4j0oc5412yuhc1p5nvyf.jpg

One of the greatest hitters of the famous American game Baseball, best known for beating Babe Ruth’s 714 home runs.

My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.

Rosa Parks130204_rosaparks_tout.jpg

“The mother of the freedom movement” she was called, and not wrongfully. She really did take a big step for her rights, and represented her race bravely.

Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.

Oprah Winfreyoprah_winfrey_horizontal_a_l.jpg

One of the largest media figures in the world, Oprah was afraid to test her boundaries and do what she believed was right.

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Doris Miller1418010383.png

Doris Miller was the first African-American to be rewarded the Navy Cross. He got the third highest honored award for his bravery in the Pearl Harbor attack.

Langston Hugheslangston_hughes_020111-thumb-640xauto-2149.jpg

Langston Hughes was one of the first to write jazz poetry. He was also a novelist, playwright and a social activist.

Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.

Harriet Tubman2016-04-20T170043Z_01_TOR904R_RTRIDSP_3_USA-CURRENCY-1474.jpg

Harriet Tubman’s story is truly one to read about. Her brave acts for freedom and justice are undeniably courageous. She was also an armed scout and spy during the Civil War.

I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.


Here are some of the greatest Black historical figures. Of course, this isn’t all, if I tried writing about all of the inspirational figures, I would have to drop out of school and dedicate my life to writing this article, because there are just that many!

Who inspires you the most?

Article by Nigina Ilkhomova

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