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Black History Month


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Title: Black History Month

Black History Month
Bayside Elementary School
Black History Month Activities
3rd Grade Mrs. Pentolino - Marvelous Mobiles- Stu
dents will construct mobiles while identifying
famous Black Americans and the history and
heritage that made them famous. Students will be
reading biographies of selected Black Americans.
They will then complete a series of activities
from a game book. They will keep score and win
prizes for completing a series of games based on
the knowledge acquired from the biographical
information. Mr. Macedo/Mrs. Pentolino Students
will be completing a book project during
January/February on an African-American
biography. These projects will be presented over
the last week of February, which is Black History
Month. Mrs. Fine - The class will be researching
famous African Americans through books and the
internet. The students will then each create
their own African-American Hero Collector Card.
Mrs. McCauley Read a biography of Harriet
Tubman. Students will write an informative
paragraph about her. We will also read different
biographies of African Americans. Students will
draw pictures of them and write about the
contributions they have made to America. They
will also make timelines of the lives of various
African Americans. Mr. Kahn - For Black History M
onth, the students are independently researching
African Americans of historical importance. They
are designing a time capsule to present the last
week of February. 4th Grade Mrs. Wentz - For B
lack History Month, we are going to do a Reader's
Theater entitled Rosa Parks and Martin Luther
King The Montgomery Bus Boycott. My students
will also be doing a research paper on a famous
African American. We will then put the reports
onto the hallway bulletin board.
Mrs. Burger - We are doing a writing assignment
on a famous African American, and we are using
MLK Jr. to help start the information. We also
have a bulletin board that is a calendar with
information each day about Black History Month.
Mrs. Scherer Students will participate in
various computer lab activities.
Mrs. Willey will be doing plays on Fridays which
focus on a variety of African Americans-
Mrs. Wells We will read multicultural
literature- Focus on Imagery (Stars Story,
Tanya's Reunion) Ms. Booze My class will be com
pleting a research project on a famous African
American. The students will create a written
report about their person.
Bayside Elementary School
5th Grade Mrs. Beemiller - I will be doing a Mart
in Luther King, Jr. play in reading class.
Mrs. Kline They are making a power point
presentation on a variety of African Americans.
Ms. Martin - My students will be researching
various African Americans and creating a group
poster to be displayed. Mrs. Baldwin - In honor o
f black history month students will be
researching one person who has contributed to
black history. They will have three days to
create and complete the poster.
Ms. McCowan - My class will make a poster on a
chosen Famous African American and will research
using the internet. They will present these to
the class on or about 20th. Ms. Roberts - We will
be working on researching various Famous African
Americans. Then the students in small groups will
be creating power point presentations.
Mrs. Chaney Students will work in the computer
lab to research a famous African American. They
will present data in a Power-Point presentation.
Ms. Small - Reflection journals will be create
d each student will create a journal using
construction paper and lined paper.
Special Areas Mrs. Broadwater/Music - For third
grade we will be discussing an article about Ray
Charles and then creating a poster based on his
life and musical works. Fourth grade will
improvise melodies and create rondo's based on a
song created about Martin Luther King. Fifth
grade will be discussing the Harlem Renaissance
and the significance that it had on music
Mrs. Fisher/Art - Toward the end of the month I
discuss Faith Ringgold's quilt paintings with my
art classes. Mrs. Feltz/Media - We will have a
display of books for the entire month of
February. Mr. Edwards and Mr. Zindel/ Physical Ed
ucation We display a bulletin board for the
month of February on African American Athletes.
Centreville Elementary School
Pre-K will be focusing on a unit about the conti
nent of Africa studying the culture through
literature, activities which include splitting
the class into tribes, villages, different foods,
and listening to music from the region.
Kindergarten will feature Black American authors
in their reading and literature. They will use
the book "The Lazy Bear" by Brian Wildsmith, "I
Can Be Fair" by David Parker, and "The Doorbell
Rang" by Pat Hutchins to teach fairness.
First grade will work on research reports on not
able African Americans, past and present. Part
will be completed as homework for the Home/School
Connection. They will also be teaching the game
Mancala in Math, Aftican Tribal music as well as
Jazz (Ellington) during independent work time,
African American author study, daily introduction
of notable African Americans past and present,
freedom quilt squares to be posted along the
walls of first grade wing for daily visual as
well as a gallery walk. Oral presentations
of African American research report projects will
also be completed. Second Grade will complet
e book quilts on famous African Americans. In
reading they will focus on biographies of famous
African Americans and also focus on famous Afric
an Americans in Science. In Music, students wil
l be singing songs and playing instruments
related to black history. They will also study
the lives and music of famous black musicians by
using books and recording. In Media, students
will be reading books about famous African
Americans such as a biography of Rosa Parks and
Jim Thorpe. There is also a book that is a folk
tale from Kenya. The books being shared have also
been nominated for the Maryland
Black-Eyed Susan award. In Art, students will s
tudy famous Black artists such as Faith Ringgold
(story quilts) and Romaine Bearden (collages).
Students will study the artist and their art
form and will then create their own original
artwork in the artist's style.
Church Hill Elementary School
African American Discussion Group will have an
exhibit of American inventions. The students have
researched these contributions and the display
will be front hallway. The group was created to
build self-esteem and set goals. During lunch
meetings, we read literature and respond to
higher level questions. It is a female group
formed and supported by data one of our lowest
performing groups. February 5th National
African American Read-In sponsored by the Black
Caucus of NCTE and endorsed by IRA. Community
members and retired teachers will read books
authored by African Americans. Our school is
always representative of multicultural posters
which include posters of famous African
Americans. African American guest speakers will
speak about their profession. Morning
announcements will feature trivia questions.
Fifth grade Enrichment groups will research
famous African Americans. The culminating
activity will include a power point
presentation. Classroom activities Prek A
Disney cruise to Africa is planned integrating
the Houghton Mifflin skills of Animals Everywhere
unit. K Kindergarten will read literature and h
ave Friendship Friday activities. One example is
as follows. Read and discuss the Rosa Parks book.
A large bus will be made. Each Child will use
multicultural paper to make his/her face and put
their face on the bus to show we all ride
together as friends. Grade 1 Students will resea
rch famous African Americans and prepare a
biography and poster. Grade 2 Every morning in F
ebruary one biography of famous or accomplished
African Americans is read from a booklet.
Grade 3 Short biographies of famous African
Americans will be read and followed up with an
oral report. Grade 4 Biographies of Benjamin Ba
nneker, Harriett Tubman, Charles Albert Tindley,
Eubie Blake, Thurgood Marshall, Frederick
Douglass and Matthew Henson are used for students
to create timelines, identify contribution to
history, complete 5 ws chart and support
authors opinion. Each student will research a
famous African American and create an informative
poster plus Readers Theatre. Plays on famous
African Americans (Harriett Tubman, George
Washington Carver and Jackie Robinson) will be
taught along with Researching and writing
informational reports on African Americans.
Grade 5 Study biographies of influential
African Americans stressing the genre, text
features and main ideas. Small group material
consists of Readers Theatre scripts about Jackie
Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr Rosa Parks and
George W.Carver. Speech The use of pictures an
d little stories about Martin Luther King, Jr.
and Harriet Tubman are utilized to answer
questions, formulate sentences, apply concepts,
and produce target sounds in context.
Media Presentation of power point shows
completed by previous Media classes will be
shown. Students will gather books in various
genres to set up a library display
Music Songs will be sung and students
will listen to African American Composers.
Grasonville Elementary School
PreK and K They will discuss famous Africa
n Americans and complete an ABC book about their
contributions. 1st Grade They will be doing
mini-books and activity sheets about famous
African Americans in our history.
2nd Grade They will read stories about famou
s African Americans, and identify their greatest
accomplishments, make mini-books to take home
about some famous African Americans, do some BCR
response about short articles they read.
3rd Grade They will research a famous Africa
n American during Language Arts time and write
about that person. Mrs. Clare is reading about
famous African Americans during Listening
Comprehension. They will read a novel about
George Washington Carver. 4th Grade They wi
ll be doing lessons about Black Waterman of the
Chesapeake Bay, Breaking the Racial Barrier in
Sports, and Harriet Tubman Woman of Bravery.
5th Grade They will be doing writing prompts
about famous African American Inventors and
Scientists, each student will read a biography
about a famous African American and write a
report using an organizer, and read articles in
class about Martin Luther King Jr, Harriet
Tubman, and Rosa Parks and answering BCRs. We
will also be using lessons from Mrs. Pauls later
on in Social Studies entitled Benjamin Banneker
Trailblazer, Banneker, Jefferson and the
Declaration of Independence, Triangular Trade and
the Middle Passage, and Harriet Tubman A Journey
to Freedom. Each morning, during announcements,
a fifth grade student will be reading about a
famous African American. Fifth grade students
are hoping to be able to read a book written by a
famous African American to PreK, K, and 1st
grade. Some of our African American citizens i
n the county will read to our different grade
levels. Videotape will be made of Mrs. Darling
s fifth grade students reading to Mrs. Wards
Kennard Elementary School
  • Will be having program Follow The Drinking
    Gourd which will focus on The Underground
  • Will be having annual African American History
    Program on February 28th.

Kent Island Elementary School
Ayers Class Study of famous African-Americans,
including George Washington Carver ,
Contemporary Achievers packet famous
African-Americans as examples of Pillars of
Character. Stephanie Sferella 1st grade Read
The Crayon Box that Talked and make crayon
bulletin board of all races working together.
Discuss various African-Americans
and their contribution to out culture such as,
George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks,Louis
Armstrong, Garrett Morgan, Martin Luther
King Jr. , Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson, and
Ruby Bridges. The students will choose a black
American and draw that person on a stamp. We
will make a bulletin board of famous black
Americans. 2nd grade Kent Island Elementary Se
cond Grade Computer Lab students will interact
with Famous African Americans on the Scholastics
Web site. Students will read about and travel th
e Underground Railroad with Harriet Tubman. They
will be able to make travel decisions that will
affect the outcome of their journey. Students wi
ll listen to music written to help, guide, and
inspire others on the Freedom movement.
Malone Kent Island Elementary
I Have a Dream Compare/contrast MLK and Harrie
t Tubman Newnam Pre-K Black History Month Ke
nt Island Elementary
Black Authors . Jerdine Nolan Harvey Potters
Balloon farm Raising Dragons Jerry Pinkney
Going Someplace Special Ezra-Jack Keats
The Snowy Day Doeler Pre-K Unit on Africa L
iterature and Illustrations on Ezra Jack Keats
Unit/SS Books Time Readers Martin Luther King
Minibooks Read-alongs Sequence events timeline

Weekly Reader M.L. King Morning Announcements
People to study Rosa Parks Harriet Tubman Ben
Carson Martin Luther King G.W. Carver Lt. Gov. St
eele T. Marshall Sojourner Truth Maya Angelou C
onzoleezza Rice
Kent Island Elementary School
Doeler Pre-K Unit on Africa Literature and Ill
ustrations on Ezra Jack Keats
Jackson MLK, Jr. - National Geographic 4
lessons 4 worksheets 2 videos .. Young
Explorer Rosa Parks also in N. Geographic
Read books about Jackie Robinson, read and
discuss Garrett Morgan
Peggy Wolfe 1st grade Students will study Mart
in Luther King, Jr. and do a Readers Theater
Students will be introduced to famous black
authors and their literature. Students will learn
about famous black inventors and their
contributions to our lives. Linda L. Jefferson
Kent Island Elementary Black History Month
Activities Morning Announcements will feature a
famous African-American each day during the month
of February Famous African-American authors will
be featured on morning announcements
A picture display of famous African-Americans
will be placed in the hallway
George W. Carver
Stephanie Thompson Music, Kent Island
Elementary To celebrate Black History Month the m
usic department of KIES is selecting a 2nd grade
class to learn and perform two songs. The first
song, Sing about Martin, is about Martin Luther
King Jr. and praises the way he cared for all
people and worked for peace. The second song is
In This World Together. This song is about how
everyone should work together as sisters and
brothers to make our world a better place. The
second grade class will perform these songs for
the kindergarten classes at KIES, traveling from
room to room on February 26 between 915am and
1000am. In all, seven kindergarten classes will
be visited.
Kent Island Elementary School
Formica Dr. King Make a book read for compr
ehension Add Dr. King poem to Poem Book Timeli
ne of Dr. King Time Readers Martin Luther King
Minibooks for people to study Mae Jemison Alex
Haley Harriet Tubman Rosa Parks G.W. Carver Lt
. Gov. Steele T. Marshall Black History Weekly R
Mrs. Persina Kent Island Elementary Weekly R
eaders Read Alouds Mini-booklets TIME Reader
s-MLK, Jr. People to Study Rosa Parks Harrie
t Tubman Dr. Ben Carson Martin Luther King, Jr
. Lt. Gov. Steele Sojourner
Truth Thurgood Marshall George W. Carver
Faye Burns Consensus Chart Dr. Martin Luther K
ing, Jr. Read Books and view Video of his life
Scholastic News about Dr. King, Ruby Bridges and
Rosa Parks
Norma Boone Students will examine significant
ideas, beliefs and themes They will organize patt
erns and events analyze how individuals and socie
ty has changes over time learn about contribution
s made by Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King,
Jr., and George Washington Carver.

J. Garber Martin Luther King Read a book, M
ake booklets, Make dream clouds
Read About - Jackie Robinson, Sojourner Truth,
Condoleezza Rice, George Washington Carver
Make a booklet about Harriet Tubman, and Thurgood
Dr. Ben Carson
Matapeake Elementary School
  • Pre-Kindergarten Kindergarten
  • Pre-K and K, for Black History Month, will be
    looking at people from our past and seeing how
    they influence our lives now. We will be looking
    at inventors, sports personalities, people
    standing up for our rights We have already
    started this in January and will continue in
  • First Grade
  • - Weekly Reader about famous Black
    AmericansMartin Luther King, Jr., Oprah
    Winfrey, Jackie Robinson, Faith Ringgold,
    Langston Hughes, Rosa Parks
  • - Activity-Which famous American would you like
    to meet? Why?
  • - Read-Alouds, Reading Activities, and
    DiscussionsSome examples of books are A Picture
    Book of Jesse Owens and Garrett Morgan.
  • - Some examples of Black Americans that may be
    discussed are C.J. Walker, Rosa Parks, Coretta
    Scott King, Benjamin Banneker, Benjamin Banneker,
    Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice.
  • - Multicultural Books and ActivitiesExamples
    are Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, Busy Bea,
    I Have Heard of a Land, Aunt Flossies Hat (and
    Crab Cakes Later), and Ezra Jack Keats books.
  • Second Grade
  • The second grade does a variety of activities
    throughout the month of February. Many of us do
    reports on African Americans who had an impact on
    American history, along with comprehension
    activities with different types of questions, and
    share stories form different African American
    Authors. Mr. Pelan's class learns about famous
    musicians and compares their styles of music.
  • Third Grade
  • Third grade plans to have the students research a
    famous African American inventor and create an
    award. They will also explore some poems written
    by African Americans and talk about their
    meaning. Some classes will read biographies of
    African American and create a presentation.
  • Fourth Grade
  • Fourth grade plans to do the following activities
    during the month of February Video and
    worksheets on African American athletes
  • Plays on Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Henry
    "Box" Brown (a slave), Weekly Reader article on
    Martin Luther King, George Washington Carver
  • Fifth Grade
  • Incorporating African American history throughout
    the month of February by reading various
    biographies during independent reading time. The
    students will be able to choose a biography to
    match their own interests. For example, a student
    interested in fashion design could choose Anthony
    Mark Hankins, a successful designer that studied
    in France and is still designing clothing for JC
    Penney and other stores. A young scientist may
    want to learn more about Percy Julian and his
    work as an organic chemist. The students will
    complete extensions such as creating "Slimy
    Slime" or other experiments.
  • I hope to have students share their extensions
    and information.
  • -Writing activities that incorporate historical
    perspectives of enslaved Africans during colonial

Sudlersville Elementary School
  • SES will for the third consecutive year host a
    school-wide African American History Month
    Read-In. Locally recruited readers will conduct
    read-alouds in all grades of books relevant to
    the Black History Month theme. In addition,
    grade-by-grade activities are planned as
  • Kindergarten Teachers will read stories and
    simple books to students about famous African
    Americans including Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Jackie Robinson, and Harriet Tubman.
  • First Grade First grade students will focus on
    the lives of three historically important African
    Americans Harriet Tubman, George Washington
    Carver, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They
    will also read books by and about African
  • Grade Two Students will use biographies and
    Scholastic News articles as a platform to discuss
    Dr. Kings contributions. A timeline of his life
    will also be studied within the context of a
    discussion that outlines the differences between
    fiction/non-fiction. An interactive bulletin
    board of famous African Americans will be posted
    that will allow students to match these persons
    with important facts. George Washington Carver
    and Harriet Tubman will be studied with a
    Readers Theatre presentation as the final
    product. Classroom libraries will feature books
    about important black Americans to be read during
    Our Time to Enjoy Reading (OTTER). Small group
    internet research projects on famous African
    Americans will be initiated throughout the
  • Grade Three February book reports will
    concentrate on celebrating famous African
    Americans through the genre of biographies.
    Students will also be asked to complete a can
    do packet on African American leaders during
    their small flex reading group time. Teachers
    will include read-alouds about famous African
  • Grade Four Students will perform a Readers
    Theatre about the life and times of a runaway
    slave who escaped via the Underground Railroad.
    This play will be presented to classes at the end
    of the month. Various websites will be explored
    for information about Harriet Tubman.
  • Grade Five In math class, students will
    complete a coordinating graph and timeline
    activity using the dates of noteworthy
    achievements, birth dates, etc. of famous African
    Americans. In social studies, children will
    study the triangular trade route and slavery
    issues within the context of colonial American
    times. Discussion will center on the economic
    and social impact that slavery and its abolition
    had in early America. Pupils will be asked to
    compare/contrast these topics with modern
    American life. In reading class, youngsters will
    extend their historical fiction unit about
    colonial American life with independent readings
    about famous African Americans and their
    contributions to the American experience.
  • In addition, small tutoring groups will spend
    time reading Martin Luther King, Jr., A Man Who
    Changed Things and discuss and write about
    Dr. Kings and Jackie Robinsons contributions to
    history as well as their impact on modern
    American life.
  • In music class fourth and fifth grade classes
    will research significant African American
    music, compile information on composers and
    listen to their musical compositions.

Centreville Middle School
Science students will be completing reports about
African-American Scientists and their
contributions to Science. These will be portrayed
as SKITS, POETRY, SONGS, POSTERS, or any other
creative way they would prefer. Presentations can
be individualized, or with a partner. Students
can make a choice.
We will again have a display of books that
celebrate Black History Month. These books will
be available for check-out by both staff and
students. We also have a very nice display of
posters that highlight African-Americans and
their achievements. Please feel free to stop by
and enjoy both
Kent Island High School
ALL SCHOOL BROADCAST During our regular daily ann
ouncements we will be spotlighting Black
Americans Past and Present. This will be a short
biographical sketch presented by our students to
the student body. Media Center There will be a d
isplay in honor of Black History Month
Bryon Sofonowski - History The entire month of Ja
nuary and February. We will be reviewing the
struggle of African Americans after the Civil
War. They will be learning of the early years of
the African Americans civil rights movement -
such as 13th/14th and 15th Amendment,
sharecropping, and people such as W.E.B. Dubois
and Booker T. Washington. Gillian Breedlove - A
rt I may do Romare Bearden collages (Harlem Renai
ssance). At about that time. Dr. Beverly Wolff
English/AP Literature My AP classes will discuss
the subject of "canon" and why so many black
American and women authors were omitted from
traditional texts. (My own Amer. Lit. text at
U.of Ill. included two women (Dickinson and
Wharton) and no blacks. My daughter is writing
her dissertation on slave figures and other
elements of "union" in art appearing after the
Civil War.) Glenn Brainer Technology Projects
Black History Month Project will include.
Description decade in which event took place,
exact date event occurred , event name event
relationship, etc. MOS Class will do similar
project using Access Database Christina Warren
English My English classes will discuss the Civil
Rights Movement and the significant Supreme
Court cases surrounding education/segregation, in
particular. We will read and listen to MLK's "I
Have a Dream" speech. Also, we always read Maya
Angelo's poetry and stories and read about local
heroes like Harriett Tubman and Frederick Douglas.
Queen Annes County High School
In the media center--extensive display of books
,pictures art...There will be a Black History
Scavenger hunt teachers may sign up to bring
classes. History classes - discuss historiograp
hy of traditionally "left out" origins of Black
History month. Several English classes - Specia
l readings of black authors...several plan to go
to the media center for the scavenger
hunt...Friday videos to highlight Black author's
books on film/historical events about events
which impacted society with regards to Black
History. Use of bulletin boards to highlight Bl
ack History. Weekly announcements highlighting
black leaders in history.
  • Americans have recognized black history annually
    since 1926, first as "Negro History Week" and
    later as "Black History Month." What you might
    not know is that black history had barely begun
    to be studied-or even documented-when the
    tradition originated. Although blacks have been
    in America at least as far back as colonial
    times, it was not until the 20th century that
    they gained a respectable presence in the history
  • Blacks Absent from History Books
  • We owe the celebration of Black History Month,
    and more importantly, the study of black history,
    to Dr. Carter G. Woodson.
  • Born to parents who were former slaves, he spent
    his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines
    and enrolled in high school
  • at age twenty. He graduated within two years and
    later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. The
    scholar was disturbed to find
  • in his studies that history books largely ignored
    the black American population-and when blacks did
    figure into the picture, it was
  • generally in ways that reflected the inferior
    social position they were assigned at the time.
  • Established Journal of Negro History
  • Woodson, always one to act on his ambitions,
    decided to take on the challenge of writing black
    Americans into the nation's history. He
    established the Association for the Study of
    Negro Life and History (now called the
    Association for the Study of Afro-American Life
    and History) in 1915, and a year later founded
    the widely respected Journal of Negro History. In
    1926, he launched Negro History Week as an
    initiative to bring national attention to the
    contributions of black people throughout American
    history. Woodson chose the second week of
    February for Negro History Week because it marks
    the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced
    the black American population, Frederick Douglass
    and Abraham Lincoln. However, February has much
    more than Douglass and Lincoln to show for its
    significance in black American history. For

February 23, 1868. E. B. DuBois, important civil
rights leader and co-founder of the NAACP, was
born. February 3, 1870The 15th Amendment was pa
ssed, granting blacks the right to vote.
February 25, 1870The first black U.S. senator,
Hiram R. Revels (1822-1901), took his oath of
office. February 12, 190he National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
was founded . February 1, 1960In what would beco
me a civil-rights movement milestone, a group of
black Greensboro, N.C., college students began a
sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter.
February 21, 1965Malcolm X, the militant leader
who promoted Black Nationalism, was shot to
death by Black Muslims.
African-American Firsts
to name a few
  • Government
  • Local elected official John Mercer Langston,
    1855, town clerk of Brownhelm Township, Ohio.
  • State elected official Alexander Lucius
    Twilight, 1836, the Vermont legislature.
  • Mayor of major city Carl Stokes, Cleveland,
    Ohio, 19671971. The first black woman to serve
    as a mayor of a major U.S. city was Sharon Pratt
    Dixon Kelly, Washington, DC, 19911995.
  • Governor (appointed) P.B.S. Pinchback served as
    governor of Louisiana from Dec. 9, 1872Jan. 13,
    1873, during impeachment proceedings against the
    elected governor.
  • Governor (elected) L. Douglas Wilder, Virginia,
    19901994. The only other elected black governor
    has been Deval Patrick, Massachusetts, 2007
  • U.S. Representative Joseph Rainey became a
    Congressman from South Carolina in 1870 and was
    reelected four more times. The first black female
    U.S. Representative was Shirley Chisholm,
    Congresswoman from New York, 19691983.
  • U.S. Senator Hiram Revels became Senator from
    Mississippi from Feb. 25, 1870, to March 4, 1871,
    during Reconstruction. Edward Brooke became the
    first African-American Senator since
    Reconstruction, 19661979. Carol Mosely Braun
    became the first black woman Senator serving from
    19921998 for the state of Illinois. (There have
    only been a total of five black senators in U.S.
    history the remaining two are Blanche K. Bruce
    18751881 and Barack Obama (2005 ).
  • U.S. cabinet member Robert C. Weaver, 19661968,
    Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban
    Development under Lyndon Johnson the first black
    female cabinet minister was Patricia Harris,
    1977, Secretary of the Department of Housing and
    Urban Development under Jimmy Carter.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell,
    20012004. The first black female Secretary of
    State was Condoleezza Rice, 2005.
  • Law
  • Editor, Harvard Law Review Charles Hamilton
    Houston, 1919. Barack Obama became the first
    President of the Harvard Law Review.
  • Federal Judge William Henry Hastie, 1946
    Constance Baker Motley became the first black
    woman federal judge, 1966.
  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall,
    19671991. Clarence Thomas became the second
    African American to serve on the Court in 1991.
  • Diplomacy
  • U.S. diplomat Ebenezer D. Bassett, 1869, became
    minister-resident to Haiti Patricia Harris
    became the first black female ambassador (1965
  • U.S. Representative to the UN Andrew Young
  • Nobel Peace Prize winner Ralph J. Bunche
    received the prize in 1950 for mediating the
    Arab-Israeli truce. Martin Luther King, Jr.,
    became the second African-American Peace Prize
    winner in 1964.

African-American Firsts
  • to name a few

Military Combat pilot Georgia-born Eugene Jacque
s Bullard, 1917, denied entry into the U.S. Army
Air Corps because of his race, served throughout
World War I in the French Flying Corps. He
received the Legion of Honor, France's highest
honor, among many other decorations.
First Congressional Medal of Honor winner Sgt.
William H. Carney for bravery during the Civil
War. He received his Congressional Medal of Honor
in 1900. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Colin Powell, 19891993. Science and Medicine Fi
rst patent holder Thomas L. Jennings, 1821, for
a dry-cleaning process. Sarah E. Goode, 1885,
became the first African-American woman to
receive a patent, for a bed that folded up into a
cabinet. M.D. degree James McCune Smith, 1837,
University of Glasgow Rebecca Lee Crumpler
became the first black woman to receive an M.D.
degree. She graduated from the New England Female
Medical College in 1864. Inventor of the blood b
ank Dr. Charles Drew, 1940. Successful open hea
rt surgery Daniel Hale Williams, 1893.
First astronaut Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., 1967,
was the first black astronaut, but he died in a
plane crash during a training flight and never
made it into space. Guion Bluford, 1983, became
the first black astronaut to travel in space Mae
Jemison, 1992, became the first black female
astronaut. Frederick D. Gregory, 1998, was the
first African-American shuttle commander.
Film First Oscar Hattie McDaniel, 1940, support
ing actress, Gone with the Wind.
Oscar, Best Actor/Actress Sidney Poitier, 1963,
Lilies of the Field Halle Berry, 2001, Monster's
Ball. Oscar, Best Actress Nominee Dorothy Dandr
idge, 1954, Carmen Jones. Film director Oscar M
icheaux, 1919, wrote, directed, and produced The
Homesteader, a feature film. Hollywood director
Gordon Parks directed and wrote The Learning
Tree for Warner Brothers in 1969.
African-American Firsts
  • to name a few

Television Network television show host Nat King
Cole, 1956, "The Nat King Cole Show" Oprah
Winfrey became the first black woman television
host in 1986, "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
Star of a network television show Bill Cosby,
1965, "I Spy". Sports Major league baseball play
er Jackie Robinson, 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers.
Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame Jackie
Robinson, 1962 first black woman, Effa Manley,
co-owner of the Negro Leagues team Newark Eagles,
2006. NFL quarterback Willie Thrower, 1953. N
FL football coach Fritz Pollard, 19221937.
Golf champion Tiger Woods, 1997, won the Masters
golf tournament. NHL hockey player Willie O'Ree
, 1958, Boston Bruins. Tennis champion Althea G
ibson became the first black person to play in
and win Wimbledon and the United States national
tennis championship. She won both tournaments
twice, in 1957 and 1958. In all, Gibson won 56
tournaments, including five Grand Slam singles
events. The first black male champion was Arthur
Ashe who won the 1968 U.S. Open, the 1970
Australian Open, and the 1975 Wimbledon
championship. Heavyweight boxing champion Jack
Johnson, 1908. Olympic medalist George Poage, 1
904, won two bronze medals in the 200 m hurdles
and 400 m hurdles. Olympic gold medalist John
Baxter "Doc" Taylor, 1908, won a gold medal as
part of the 4 x 400 m relay team.
Olympic gold medalist DeHart Hubbard, 1924, for
the long jump the first woman was Alice
Coachman, who won the high jump in 1948.
Olympic medalist Debi Thomas, 1988, won the
bronze in figure skating. Olympic gold medalist
Vonetta Flowers, 2002, bobsled.
Olympic gold medalist Shani Davis, 2006, 1,000 m
speedskating. Miscellaneous Millionaire Madam
e C. J. Walker. Billionaire Robert Johnson, 200
1, owner of Black Entertainment Television Oprah
Winfrey, 2003. Portrayal on a postage stamp Boo
ker T. Washington, 1940 (and also 1956).
Miss America Vanessa Williams, 1984,
representing New York. Explorer, North Pole
Matthew A. Henson, 1909, accompanied Robert E.
Peary on the first successful U.S. expedition to
the North Pole. Explorer, South Pole George Gib
bs, 19391941 accompanied Richard Byrd.
Civil Rights Heroes
to name a few
  • The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s
    challenged racism in America and made the country
    a more just and humane society for all. Below are
    a few of its many heroes.
  • Rosa Parks
  • On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama,
    Rosa Parks, an African-American seamstress, left
    work and boarded a bus for home. As the bus
    became crowded, the bus driver ordered Parks to
    give up her seat to a white passenger.
    Montgomery's buses were segregated, with the
    seats in the front reserved for "whites only."
    Blacks had to sit at the back of the bus. But if
    the bus was crowded and all the "whites only"
    seats were filled, black people were expected to
    give up their seatsa black person sitting while
    a white person stood would never be tolerated in
    the racist South. Rosa had had enough of such
    humiliation, and refused to give up her seat. "I
    felt I had a right to stay where I was," she
    said. "I wanted this particular driver to know
    that we were being treated unfairly as
    individuals and as a people." The bus driver had
    her arrested.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., heard about Parks's
    brave defiance and launched a boycott of
    Montgomery buses. The 17,000 black residents of
    Montgomery pulled together and kept the boycott
    going for more than a year. Finally, the Supreme
    Court intervened and declared segregation on
    buses unconstitutional. Rosa Parks and the
    boycotters defeated the racist system, and she
    became known as "the mother of the civil rights
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • It wasn't just that Martin Luther King became the
    leader of the civil rights movement that made him
    so extraordinaryit was the way in which he led
    the movement. King advocated civil disobedience,
    the non-violent resistance against unjust laws
    "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which
    cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who
    wields it." Civil rights activists organized
    demonstrations, marches, boycotts, strikes, and
    voter-registration drives, and refused to obey
    laws that they knew were wrong and unjust.
  • These peaceful forms of protest were often met
    with vicious threats, arrests, beatings, and
    worse. King emphasized how important it was that
    the civil rights movement did not sink to the
    level of the racists and hate mongers they fought
    against "Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst
    for freedom by drinking from the cup of
    bitterness and hatred," he urged. "We must
    forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of
    dignity and discipline." King's philosophy of
    "tough-mindedness and tenderheartedness" was not
    only highly effective, but it gave the civil
    rights movement an inspiring moral authority and

Civil Rights Heroes
to name a few
Thurgood Marshall Read about Plessy v. Feguson, t
he Supreme Court's "separate but equal" doctrine
that was overturned by Brown v. Board of
Education of Topeka. Thurgood Marshall was a
courageous civil rights lawyer during a period
when racial segregation was the law of the land.
At a time when a large portion of American
society refused to extend equality to black
people, Marshall astutely realized that one of
the best ways to bring about change was through
the legal system. Between 1938 and 1961, he
presented more than 30 civil rights cases before
the Supreme Court. He won 29 of them. His most
important case was Brown v. Board of Education of
Topeka (1954), which ended segregation in public
schools. By law, black and white students had to
attend separate public schools. As long as
schools were "separate but equal"providing equal
education for all racessegregation was
considered fair. In reality, segregated schools
were shamefully unequal white schools were far
more privileged than black schools, which were
largely poor and overcrowded. Marshall challenged
the doctrine, pointing out that "separate but
equal" was just a myth disguising racism. He
argued that if all students were indeed equal,
then why was it necessary to separate them? The
Supreme Court agreed, ruling that "separate
educational facilities are inherently unequal."
Marshall went on to become the first
African-American Supreme Court Justice in
American history. The Little Rock Nine The Lit
tle Rock Nine pictured with Daisy Bates, the
president of the Arkansas NAACP. The Little Rock
Nine, as they later came to be called, were the
first black teenagers to attend all-white Central
High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.
These remarkable young African-American students
challenged segregation in the deep South and won.
Although Brown v. Board of Education outlawed
segregation in schools, many racist school
systems defied the law by intimidating and
threatening black studentsCentral High School
was a notorious example. But the Little Rock Nine
were determined to attend the school and receive
the same education offered to white students, no
matter what. Things grew ugly and frightening
right away. On the first day of school, the
governor of Arkansas ordered the state's National
Guard to block the black students from entering
the school. Imagine what it must have been like
to be a student confronted by armed soldiers!
President Eisenhower had to send in federal
troops to protect the students. But that was only
the beginning of their ordeal. Every morning on
their way to school angry crowds of whites
taunted and insulted the Little Rock Ninethey
even received death threats. One of the students,
fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Eckford, said "I tried
to see a friendly face somewhere in the mob. . .
. I looked into the face of an old woman, and it
seemed a kind face, but when I looked at her
again, she spat at me." As scared as they were,
the students wouldn't give up, and several went
on to graduate from Central High. Nine black
teenagers challenged a racist system and defeated
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