Black History Month is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and reflecting on the experiences of African Americans. What started as one week in 1926 has turned into 28 days of commemoration and lessons about the contributions of black Americans.
Many black Americans come from a line of captured and enslaved people who were forcibly brought to the United States to build the culture and infrastructure of a place they never asked to live in. Forced immigration and centuries of cultural genocide have driven black Americans to literally and figuratively rebuild a culture from the ground up. In the face of historic oppression and inequality – slavery, Jim Crow laws and the police brutality that sparked the #BlackLivesMatter movement – African Americans have continuously fought for their rights, achieving countless milestones in the process. , achievements and freedoms. While forced to exist largely on the margins of society, black Americans have nonetheless made many significant contributions to the arts, education, politics, technology, and many other fields.
The 1930s saw the story of Olympic track and field star Jesse Owens and the eventual breakout moment of author-activist Zora Neale Hurston; in the 1950s, the first civil rights law since 1875 was enacted; and five decades later, in 2008, Americans elected the first black president.
But in the theme of education — part of this month’s feature for much of the country — you’ll discover other less discussed moments and perhaps unfamiliar faces of black history: the desegregation of armed forces in the 1940s, the first Black Miss America in the 1980s, and the 1995 Million Man March in Washington DC, are a few notable moments.
Scroll through Stacker’s list to learn about some of the milestones and accomplishments in black history, from 1919 to 2021.
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