Black History Month

Black History Month

image by WTCC instructor

Did you know that February is Black History Month? In the United States and Canada, we take time to remember and appreciate all of the things that black Americans (and Canadians) have added to our society and culture. We also look back at the things that have changed to give black Americans more of the rights they deserve. Here are some things we celebrate during Black History Month. Click each one for more information:

  • The Emancipation Proclamation – President Abraham Lincoln made slavery illegal and freed all slaves in 1863.
  • The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution – The 15th Amendment gave black people the right to vote. It was added to the Constitution in 1870.
  • George Washington Carver – Carver was a botanist (plant scientist) and inventor. He was born a slave, but he was still a young man when slavery was abolished (ended/made illegal). He helped farmers to improve their lives by teaching them to plant different crops (plants for sale, like tobacco, cotton, corn, and peanuts). He is also famous for creating 105 recipes using peanuts.
  • Sojourner Truth – She was a slave who worked for the end of slavery and for women’s rights. Her baby son was sold to another slave owner, and she went to court to get her son back. She won, and her son was returned to her. She was the first black woman to win against a white man in court in a case like this.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. – We talked about Dr. King a couple of weeks ago, so you already know that he was one of the most important people in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. He worked for equal rights and equal treatment of black Americans under the law.
  • Malcolm X – Malcolm X lived at the same time as Dr. King. They both spoke about equal rights for black people. Malcolm X also wanted black Americans to be proud of their race and work hard to take care of themselves.
  • Rosa Parks – Mrs. Parks is famous because she sat on a bus, and when a white person wanted her to move to a different seat, she did not move. Even though she didn’t do anything illegal, she was arrested. Her actions gave other people courage to do the right thing and change the way black people were treated, especially in the American South.
  • Barack Obama – President Obama is the first African American president of the United States.

Your Turn

Choose one person or event from the list. Learn more, and write one paragraph in the comments to tell what you have learned!

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