Since I was in school we have learned about the same Black history heroes every year during Black History Month: Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Harriett Tubman, Malcolm X, George Washington Carver, W.E.B. DuBois, Sojourner Truth. These heroes and heroines helped shape the world today and can never be forgotten as integral components of American heritage, culture, and history, but it is important that we remember that greatness is occurring each year, throughout the year. Let’s not forget to teach students about modern day Black heroes, and do it all year long. History is still being made!
17 times Black history was made and came through to inspire youth in recent months:
1. “Hidden Figures” inspiration Katherine Johnson was honored on stage during the Oscars.
2. “Moonlight” was awarded the Oscar for best picture.
3. Rihanna was awarded the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award for her work with supporting health care and education in the Caribbean and other developing countries.
4. All the magic of the Women’s March on Washington and around the world.
5. The Oscars made history this year by awarding the most Black stars, ever.
6. Honorable Judge Andre Birotte Jr. issued an order in early 2017 allowing anyone with a “valid immigrant visa” entry to the U.S.
7. Lisa Blunt Rochester became the first African American and woman to serve in Congress from Delaware.
8. Chance the Rapper (an independent artist from the south side of Chicago) won three Grammys.
9. Fifteen women were appointed to Congress in 2017, many of them are women of color.
10. In 2016 President Barack Obama awarded the medal of freedom to many great Americans including Diana Ross and Michael Jordan.
11. Stephen Curry awarded the coveted title of NBA MVP the last two years and may take the title again this year.
12. The Movement Black Lives Matters still exists and is continuing to advocate for the rights of marginalized groups.
13. Solange won her first Grammy for “Best R&B Performance”.
14. Rapper Nelly sends two kids to college every year. He has done this for the last 10 years.
15. Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny continues to advocate for awareness about water conditions in her city. Sources say Flint, Michigan will put its water treatment plant back into operation this year.
16. Marsai Martin (12 years old) was awarded the NAACP image award for “Outstanding Performance in Youth/Children’s Series or Special” in the series “Black-ish”.
17. Viola Davis became the first Black actress to win an Emmy, Tony, and Oscar.