Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Black History Month brings past into focus

By: Hannah Gandee

  Black History Month is a time to make known all the accomplishments of African- Americans and their roles in history.
  Black History Month was first officially recognized by president Gerald Ford in 1976 when he designated the event to take place in February. Ever since then, every U.S. president has officially designated this month as Black History Month. However we are not the only country to dedicate a month to the celebration of black history. In fact it is also celebrated in Canada and the U.K. But how did such an event get started?
  It all started after historian Carter G. Woodson and pastor Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) in the September of 1915. The group sponsored the first Negro History Week, the ancestor of Black History Month in 1926. They had chosen the second week of February for this event in order for it to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
  The Black History Month we all know, however, did not start to become a full month until the late 1960’s when Negro History Week began to evolve into Black History Month on many college campuses.
  African- Americans have played a huge role in shaping today’s world, oftentimes with their inventions. Here is a list of African- American inventors who made life safer:
  • Garret Morgan- In 1912, Morgan developed the first gas masks and then the first automated traffic lights.
  • Charles Drew- In his attempt to prolong the life of donated blood until it could be used, Charles Drew developed the first blood banks.
  • Benjamin Bradley- Bradley made his mark on history by inventing the first steam engine.
  • Daniel Hale Williams- Williams is known for his medical advancements such as being the first surgeon to successfully complete an open heart surgery. More importantly, he was the first doctor to open the chest cavity and not have his patient die of infection.
Patricia Bath- Bath worked in the medical field for many years, starting with an internship working in cancer research at the age of 16. Then she moved into optometry and in 1981 she created a device for laser eye surgery.

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