February is a big month. Besides it being the month for Valentines and being the shortest in the amount of days, February is most recognized for Black History Month. During this time, it is important to remember important events and people who have contributed to African American history. Numerous African Americans have contributed to society, whether it be the arts, politics, or entertainment field, there is something to note. Here are a list of ten of some of the most influential leaders that should be honored for Black History Month:
1. Sojourner Truth
After escaping from her slave master in 1826, Sojourner Truth became free and become a famous abolitionist. In 1844 Sojourner joined a Massachusetts abolitionist organization called the Northampton Association Education and Industry. Sojourner was a speaker, and her most famous speech was "Ain't I a Woman" advocating on equality which she gave in Akron on 1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention.
2. James Baldwin
American novelist James Baldwin tackles issues on race, class, and sex distinction in order to show people how unjust society is. James was born in Harlem on August 2nd, 1924. His text "Go Tell it on the Mountain' was his most infamous novel published in 1953.
3. Oprah Winfrey
"The Oprah Winfrey Show" was the highest rated television program and aired from 1986-2011. As a talk show host, she filmed her show in Chicago. Her life started rough when she was born into a family of poverty, but made it out to become the first African American multi-billionaire in North America. She is known as the most influential person in the world.
4. Harriet Tubman
Harriet managed to escape slavery from the south and was important in helping other African Americans escape from slavery through the Underground Railroad. With her bravery, she managed to rescue hundreds of slaves to freedom during the 1850's.
5. Barack Obama
America elected its first African American president in the 2008 election and he ended his term in 2016. One legacy Obama left is the affordable health care plan called Obama Care. Before his time in the White House, he served as a senator for Illinois from 2005-2008.
6. Chuck Berry
American singer Chuck Berry was known for his contribution in the rock and roll genre in the 1950's. Some of his famous songs include "Maybellene" and "Roll over Beethoven." Guitar solos and showmanships is what Berry is known for in his music.
7. Rosa Parks
After refusing to give up a seat for a white passenger in a bus in Montgomery in 1955, Rosa was put in jail. This incident known as the Montgomery bus boycott and let the world know how African Americans were not treated equally with the 'Jim Crow' laws.
8. Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes is best known as a leader in the Harlem Renaissance which was a period in the 1920's when African American culture was making its ways to the midwest and the north. His poetry and novels influenced the masses. His poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" became one of his most well known poems.
9. Maya Angelou
Civil rights activist and novelist Maya Angelou became famous through her seven autobiographies revealing her childhood and the struggles of being an African American. Her first autobiography titled 'Why The Caged Birds Sing' is the most famous and is read as a way to show African American's daily struggles.
10. Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King became an influental Civil Rights leader by advocating for peace and love rather than violence. His famous speech titled 'I Have A Dream' continues to inspire many individuals which and was delivered in 1963 at the March of Washington.