School Events - February Black History Month Past and Present
Black History Past & Present
CARTER G. WOODSON (Wednesday, February 3rd
In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, this celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February, and today Black History Month garners support throughout the country as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the black experience. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History views the promotion of Black History Month as one of the most important components of advancing Dr. Woodson’s legacy
Ruby Bridges (Thursday, February 4th)
At six years old, Ruby Bridges became the first Black student to integrate an elementary school in Louisiana. Ruby endured vicious racial slurs and threats on her life from white rioters daily, and her parents also suffered greatly for their decision; still, they persevered, driven by a desire for Ruby to have the same educational opportunities as white children.
Mari Copeny 10 years old (Friday, February 5th)
In 2016, eight-year old Mari Copeny (known as “Little Miss Flint”) wrote to President Obama requesting a meeting in Washington, D.C. to discuss the water crisis in her home town of Flint, Michigan. Instead, Obama went to her, visiting Flint and drawing national attention to the public health emergency.
In the two years since, Mari has donated more than 1,000 backpacks and school supplies to Flint’s schoolchildren through the #PackYourBackChallenge. She has also worked with the United Nations’ Girl Up Initiative and is the youngest Women’s March Youth Ambassador.
Nyeeam Hudson 12years old (Monday, February8th)
On Instagram (where he goes by the name King Nahh), Hudson delivers brief, uplifting messages to his more than 200,000 followers. Last year, he published the book “We Are All Kings: A Motivational Guide for Young Men” with the goal “to motivate and inspire all young men across the world and let them know that anything is possible if they just believe in themselves.”
Marley Dias 13 years old (Tuesday, February 9th)
Marley Dias could not keep her nose out of a book—but she was sick of reading story after story about white boys. In an interview with NPR, Dias explained how that frustration inspired her to start the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign, aimed at finding 1,000 books with black girls as protagonists. The campaign collects and donates books and works with educators to discover and promote more diversity in reading.
Yara Shahidi 17yrs old (Wednesday, February 10th )
Yara Shahidi wants to prove that “giving back is not just something that you do as an adult.” She first came into the national spotlight for her roll on ABC’s Black-ish. Since then, earning the starring role on the ABC spinoff show Grown-ish, she’s used her platform to establish herself as a strong advocate for diversity in Hollywood and girls’ education across the country.
In partnership with the Young Women’s Leadership Network, she launched a mentoring initiative called Yara’s Club. The organization connects young women, invites participants to talk about topics that matter to them, and encourages social activism. She has also worked with Michelle Obama on the Let Girls Learn initiative.
Malcolm Mitchell, 24 years old (Thursday, February 11th)
Despite the Super Bowl ring he earned with the New England Patriots last year, NFL receiver Malcolm Mitchell says that one of his proudest achievements involves reading. His firm belief that reading enables children to reach their full potential led Mitchell to find the Read With Malcolm Youth Literacy Initiative.
The organization aims to “transform the lives of young students through literacy,” particularly in households and schools where students have less opportunity and fewer resources to read.
Sheyann Webb (Friday, February 12th)
At nine years old, Sheyann Webb was among the youngest children to participate in the first march from Selma to Montgomery, AL, known as “Bloody Sunday.” She and the other peaceful marchers were met by law enforcement on horseback and other rioters. Sheyann is known as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Smallest Freedom Fighter.”
Negro History League (Tuesday February 23rd)
Negro League Baseball got its start thanks to the increasing popularity of two things after the Civil War: baseball and segregation. For historical context, in the late 1800’s, Black professional baseball players were banned from playing in the major leagues and were forced to form their own when Rube Foster launched the “Negro National Leagues.”
In December 2020, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that they will correct a longtime injustice in the game’s history by officially elevating the Negro Leagues (of 1920-1948) to “Major League” status.
John Lewis (Wednesday, February 26th)
John Robert Lewis was an American politician, statesman, and civil rights activist and leader who served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia's 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death in 2020. He was one of the "Big Six" leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington. He fulfilled many key roles in the civil rights movement and its actions to end legalized racial segregation in the United States. In 1965, Lewis led the first of three Selma to Montgomery marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
John Lewis received many honorary degrees and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Amanda Gorman (Thursday, February 25th)
Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, as well as an award-winning writer and cum laude graduate of Harvard University. She has written three books forthcoming with Penguin Random House.
Her words have won her invitations to the Biden and Obama White House, perform for Lin-Manuel Miranda, Al Gore, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, and others. Amanda has received a Genius Grant from OZY Media, as well as recognition from Scholastic Inc., YoungArts, the Glamour magazine College Women of the Year Awards, and the Webby Awards penned the manifesto for Nike's 2020 Black History Month campaign. She is the youngest board member of 826 National, the largest youth writing network in the United States.
Vice President Kamala Harris (Friday, February 26th)
Kamala Harris is an American politician and attorney. On August 11, 2020 VP Harris accepted President Joe Biden’s invitation to become running mate and help unite the nation who is the She is the United States' 49th current and first female Vice President, the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history, and the first African American and first Asian American Vice President.