Black History Month: February 2020 To recall and celebrate the positive contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week beginning on Feb. 12, 1926. In 1976, as part of the nation's bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month.
TODAY'S SPOTLIGHT ON MALCOLM X
Malcolm X has been called one of the greatest and most influential African-Americans in history. He was a Muslim minister and human rights activist — and was an advocate for black rights. After serving time in prison, Malcolm turned to the Nation of Islam in 1952 and became one of its leaders. Malcolm was largely credited with increasing the membership of the NOI from 500 in 1952 to 30,000 in 1963. He left the nation in March 1964 and later founded the Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of the Afro-American Unity. On February 21, 1965, less than a year after leaving the Nation of Islam, he was assassinated by three members of the group. In 1992, Spike Lee released a film about Malcolm's life called Malcolm X.
Born Malcolm Little in May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska. His critics accused of preaching racism, black supremacy and violence. It was rumored that his father, Earl Little was killed by white supremacists when he was a child. When he was 13, his mom was placed in a mental hospital and he was placed in a series of foster homes. In 1946, at age 20, he went to prison for breaking and entering. Married Betty Shabazz in 1958. They had six children together. Left the nation of Islam due to rumors of NOI head Elijah Muhammad had extramarital affairs with his assistants — which were against the teachings of Islam. He became a Sunni Muslim shortly after he left. On March 26, 1964, he met Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington, D.C., after a press conference held when both men attended the Senate to hear the debate on the Civil Rights bill. The Autobiography of Malcolm X was published in 1965. The book was the result of a collaboration between Malcolm and journalist Alex Haley. Haley coauthored the autobiography based on a series of in-depth interviews he conducted between 1963 and Malcolm X's 1965 assassination.
On freedom: “Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it.” On education: “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” On violence: “I am for violence if non-violence means we continue postponing a solution to the American black man's problem just to avoid violence.” On his beliefs: “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. On success: “If you have no critics you'll likely have no success.”
(Source: Brainy Quotes)
TODAY IN BLACK HISTORY:
In 1933, singer Nina Simone was born. In 1936, Barbara Charline Jordan was born in Houston Texas’s Fifth Ward on February 21, 1936. In 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated in Audubon Ballroom at a rally of his organization. In 1987, African Americans in Tampa, Florida rebelled after an African American man was killed by a white police officer while in custody. In 1992, Eva Jessye choral director for the first Broadway production of Porgy and Bess died in Ann Arbor, Michigan Feb. 21, 1992.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH QUESTION OF THE DAY:
Which track and field star overcame childhood polio to become one of the greatest athletes of her time? A. Wilma Rudolph B. Gail Devers C. Florence Griffith Joyner
The answer is A. Wilma Rudolph. (source: infoplease.com)
BLACK HISTORY MONTH FACT OF THE DAY:
In 1914, Marcus Garvey establishes the Universal Negro Improvement Association, an influential black nationalist organization “to promote the spirit of race pride” and create a sense of worldwide unity among blacks. (source: factmonster.com)
BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT: THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN
Starting in Alabama in 1941 at the local army airfield, the Tuskegee airmen were formed and trained by the US Army Air Corp. Some 1000 airmen were trained during World War 2. They were known as the Black fighter pilots of the 99th Pursuit squadron and later incorporated in the 332nd Fighter group. These African-American pioneers were responsible for escorting the bomber planes that flew over Asia and Europe during May of 42 and June of 45 and they were the only unit to never lose a bomber.
They did lose 66 of their own men however, 32 of whom fell into enemy hands. The Tuskegee airmen are credited as being the first American flyers, black or white, to cause a German destroyer to sink. They were eventually honored with over 150 distinguish Flying Cross awards.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH EXTRA
Malcom X's final speech: