Paying tribute to Black History Month – commemorating three heroes


Featured above are important figures a part of the black community who have contributed greatly throughout history.

     Black History Month honors the influence of African Americans throughout history.  This event has been going on for almost a hundred years in some capacity.  Carter G. Woodson first made a Black History Week when he began learning about the history of Black individuals in 1915. Woodson felt like Black individuals needed their own week, so kids and adults could learn the life and history of them. Then in 1926, they made official Black History Week in the second week of February. It was chosen as the second week of February because Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass’ birthdays are on the same week, as these individuals are very important to African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has dedicated the month of February to Black History Month.

     There are many famous African Americans but the ones that are the most prominent in our history and had a big impact on the Black community are Martin Luther King (MLK), Muhammad Ali, and Kobe Bryant. There are many other African Americans that many may not know of that had major impacts on American history.

     One African American  is Harriet Tubman, a female former slave who helped slaves escape through a secret passageway called the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman was born in 1822 and died in 1913, although she did much in the time she was alive. She helped approximately seventy slaves escape and never lost one while doing this. The Underground Railroad was a network that African Americans and white people were given shelter, food, and aid in times of struggle. Many historians don’t know the background of the railroad, but it was still used through the 18th century and the Civil War. Harriet Tubman was a major reason why slavery got abolished and inspired many other slaves to escape on the Underground Railroad. 

     An African American cook, Doris Miller, became a medic and a gunner, which is a member of the armed services who specializes in guns. Miller was an American cook on one of the ships during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Miller was peeling potatoes when the ship got blown up. Soon after this, he helped many injured people along with the captain of the ship. After this, he jumped on a turret on the ship with no experience doing this, as he did this he shot down multiple Japanese planes. This made him the first African American to earn a Navy Cross award, which is the second-highest award besides the medal of honor.

     There are many more African Americans who have had a major impact on the rights of Black individuals, but one on this list is a baseball player named Jackie Robinson. Robinson was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) player and the first-ever African American to play in the MLB. In his ten years of playing in the MLB and for the Brooklyn Dodgers, he won rookie of the year, was an all-star for six consecutive seasons (1949-1954), won the National League Most Valuable Player award (MVP), made it to six world series, and was introduced into the Hall of Fame in 1962. In 1997, the MLB retired his jersey, which was number forty-two, across all Major League Baseball teams. The MLB also introduced an annual day called Jackie Robinson Day for the first time on April 15th, 2004. On this day, every player on every team wears the number forty-two to honor Robinson. This was the first time they dedicated a day to an MLB player, and they definitely picked the right one as Robinson playing in the major league inspired other major league teams, not just baseball, to give people with different races and backgrounds a chance to play for them. Today, all of the major league teams have people playing for them with all different kinds of races, backgrounds, and heritage. 

     These are just a few who have inspired and will inspire generations to come.