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Black/African American History Month: Celebrate Black/African American Culture

Black/African Americans to Celebrate

 Madam C.J. Walker: The first female Black American self-made millionaire, Walker (Sarah Breedlove) was born in 1867, the youngest child in her family and the only one born after the Emancipation Proclamation. Walker was a washerwoman, sales agent, cook, and hairdresser before she began to sell her hair ointment that cured dandruff and other hygiene hair issues. Her business grew and she expanded internationally in 1913, boasting over 25,000 sales agents in 1919. She gave generously to the NAACP and the African American YMCA in addition to countless college scholarships. See this Britannica Article for more information. (username: school, password: table)

 Gordon Parks: Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was a well-known photographer, author, and film director and was known for his artistic focus on African American lives. Growing up in poverty, he dropped out of high school and held a number of odd jobs until realizing his talent for photography. He moved to Chicago where he famously photographed the gritty reality of south side life. He held positions as a photorapher for the Farm Security Administration and Life Magazine. Parks published a number of works in the 1960s and 1970s and began directing films in the 1970s. See this Britannica Article for more information. (username: school, password: table)

 Wilma Rudolph: Wilma Rudolph was the first Black American athlete to bring home three track & field medals in one Olympics. Born in 1940, Rudolph was a sickly child who had trouble walking up to the age of 11. However, her competitive drive helped her achieve great success in basketball and track and field in both high school and college. She competed and brough home medals in both the 1956 and 1960 olympics. Retiring from her sport, she later worked to develop girls' track and field teams in Chicago and eventually on the national level. See this Britannica Article for more information. (username: school, password: table)

 Marian Anderson:  (1897-1993) Anderson displayed significant vocal talent as a child, but her family was unable to afford for her to have formal training. Instead, her singing ranged from bass to soprano in her church choir. The church members raised enough money for her to attend music school for a year. She so impressed her teacher that she received formal training free at the age of 19. She toured extensively in Europe and around the world, but she was denied many opportunities in the United States because of her race. When she was not allowed to sing at Washington D.C.'s Constitution Hall run by the Daughters of the Revolution, many prominent members, including Eleannor Roosevelt, resigned. Towards the end of her career, she earned many prestigious awards including the National Medal of Arts. See this Britannica Article for more information. (username: school, password: table)

Ursula Burns: Burns was the first Black American female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, Xerox Corporation, succeeding another female CEO. Born into a poor family who lived in Manhatten, she was one of three children of a single mother who worked as a daycare provider and housecleaner in order to earn enough money to send her daughter to a prominent private high school. Burns excelled at math and earned a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from New York University. She rose in ranks through the Xerox Corporation after earning her Master's Degree until she reached the position of CEO. She has also served in a number of capacities that promote STEM education including the STEM Education Coalition, and she was a member of Presiden Barack Obama's President's Export Council. See this Britannica Article for more information. (username: school, password: table)

Current News

There is much to celebrate in the news surrounding Black/African American history, Civil Rights, Black Lives Matter Movement, culture, and pride. There is also a lot in the news detailing the struggles and racisim Black/African Americans still face everyday. See links below for the most current news from national and local news stations and papers. 

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Source Citations

"Gordon Parks." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 3 Nov. 2017. Accessed 31 Jan. 2022.

"Madam C.J. Walker." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 24 Jul. 2020. Accessed 31 Jan. 2022.

"Marian Anderson." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 13 Jul. 2011. Accessed 31 Jan. 2022.

"Ursula Burns." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 17 Jun. 2021. Accessed 31 Jan. 2022.

"Wilma Rudolph." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 23 Jun. 2020. Accessed 31 Jan. 2022.