February is Black History Month, a month for celebrating the importance of African Americans' achievements and the key historical milestones that shaped these accomplishments. The foundation for Black History Month began in September 1915, when historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976. He called upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s vision is to be the premier Black Heritage learning society, building a strong network of national and international branches and partners whose diverse and inclusive membership will continue the Woodson legacy. Its mission is to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.
“Do not let the role which you have played be obscured while others write themselves into the foreground of your story” — Carter G. Woodson
Throughout history, society has benefited greatly from the advancements and inventions of African American thought leaders.
|Name||Title|| Known for
|Dr. Shirley Jackson||Physicist||Touch-tone telephone, portable fax, caller ID, call waiting and fiber-optic cable. Also, the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate in nuclear physics at MIT.|
Carbon filament, railroad car bathroom and air conditioning unit.
|Marie Van Brittan Brown||Nurse|| Home security system.
|Frederick McKinley Jones||Inventor|| Refrigerator truck
|Otis Boykin||Inventor||Pacemaker, IBM computers, burglar-proof cash register, chemical air filters and an electronic resistor.|
||Physician, surgeon and medical researcher
||Blood banks, blood plasma programs and bloodmobiles. In 1950 the Red Cross finally recognized all blood as being equal.|
|Marian Croak||SVP AT&T Labs
||Voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP).|
|Lisa Gelobter||VP BET||Shockwave, online video.|
World’s fastest computer.
|Garrett Morgan||Inventor||Gas masks and added a third position to the traffic signal.|
|Alexander Miles||Inventor||Automatic elevator door.|
Let’s celebrate this month by empowering one another, supporting innovative ideas and recognizing the incredible contributions of the African American community.