Famous African American Leaders
Famous African American Leaders for Black History Month
The month of February marks Black History Month. This is a month to celebrate the achievements and contributions of the African American men and women who have made huge contributions to our great country. There are significant achievements to celebrate in the fields of science, politics, law, sports, arts, entertainment, etc. Here are some of the most celebrated African Americans to celebrate this month.
Martin Luther King Jr.
A scholar, Baptist minister, husband, and father – Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the famous “I Have a Dream Speech” as he fought for the civil rights of African Americans in the 1950’s-1960s. He was known for his peaceful protests and was the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Unfortunately, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream…”
Famous for not surrendering her seat on a bus to a white passenger, Rosa Parks was a civil rights activist whose actions sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her actions helped to end racial segregation and she was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. award. Even though Parks was found guilty and fined, she did garner a crowd of over 500 people in support of her efforts.
“Each person must live their life as a model for others.”
Famous for boxing, Muhammed Ali was also known for other things. He was a philanthropist, social activist and he took a brave stance against the Vietnam War. He earned Olympic gold in boxing in 1960 and became the World Heavyweight Boxing Champion in 1964. He was suspended for refusing military service, but ended up reclaiming his heavyweight title twice more in the 1970s. He’s regarded as one of the most talented athletes of the 20th century.
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
He was the first black athlete to play Major League Baseball, breaking all the barriers. He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. He was very talented and fun to watch on the field. He was also a vocal civil rights activist.
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
She escaped slavery to become a leading abolitionist. Harriet Tubman was able to lead hundreds of black slaves to freedom using the Underground Railroad. She continually risked her life so that others could escape. She also helped the Union Army by working as a spy.
“I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.”
Poet, actress, dancer, screenwriter, civil rights activist and award-winning author, Maya Angelou made a name for herself. She is known for her 1969 memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” She received many awards throughout her lifetime.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
George Washington Carver
An African American scientist and educator, Carver is most well-known for his discovery of the many uses of the peanut. Even though he was born into slavery, he was eventually able to overcome the odds and become a prominent inventer.
“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.”
Madam C.J. Walker
She was one of the first African American women to become a self-made millionaire. She created specialized hair care products for African American women.
“If I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.”
Mae C. Jemison
Jemison is the first female African American astronaut. She’s the first African American woman in space and has received several awards.
“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”
Daniel Hale Willams
He is known as one of the first physicians to perform open-heart surgery. Daniel Hale Williams also founded a hospital with an interracial staff.
These are just of the brave men and women to be celebrated during Black History Month. They are inspiring, courageous and their leadership shines down through all of history. True Famous African American Leaders.