The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

African-American pioneers celebrated in February

By Brittany Walker/reporter

What was once known as Negro History Week has grown to become Black History Month.

February has been recognized as Black History Month since 1926, and many well-known figures come to mind when referring to the month — the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois and many others.

But what about the person who founded Black History Month?

The recognition was launched by Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week to bring attention to contributions of blacks throughout American history.

Woodson chose the second week in February because it marks the birthdays of Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two influential figures in black history.

South counselor and African-American committee member Annie Dobbins said Black History Month still serves the same purpose today.

“It helps to bring about a greater understanding and appreciation of the role of African-Americans in our country,” she said.

South student Wyndell Madkins said he understands the purpose of Black History Month.

“It reminds us of the struggles and hardships faced by our ancestors,” he said. “It helps us to remember where we come from.”

For many, Black History Month is a time to reflect on struggles of the past, recognize the progress made and salute those who sacrificed.

The month also honors those who have made contributions to the U.S. and celebrates African heritage.

Dobbins said it is important for youth to learn and appreciate their heritage.

Because the U.S. is diverse, many people have made contributions. Blacks have contributed to science, journalism, literature, sports, politics, music and more.

In literature, Maya Angelou and Paul Laurence Dunbar stand out.

Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Etta James, Ray Charles and Michael Jackson are just a few who contributed to music in the U.S.

Many black inventors have contributed to American living. The pencil sharpener, eggbeater, street sweeper, automatic traffic light are among inventions by blacks.

SE student Jeffrey Mims said he is proud the U.S. has a month dedicated to African heritage and contributions made by blacks.

Mims said it is great to honor the past and recognize some of the greats.

Black History Month functions as a time to observe and celebrate African-American culture, but it also inspires others, such as South student Destinye Pearson who said it gives her hope.

“I believe I can become anything and everything I want to be,” she said. “It pushes me to work harder.”

Dobbins said it also helps others to reflect on contributions made by all cultures in the U.S.

“We all have something to bring to the table,” she said. “We should value our diversity.”

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