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Monday, February 14, 2011

Black History Month: Part Two

Happy February! February is Black History Month, and I think it's important for me to support and tell/ learn about my heritage so....

Every Monday in February, there will be a post about three famous African American figures. This won't just be the usual Martin Luther King or Rosa Parks. These are twelve people that (some of them) I haven't even heard of. Overall, I believe this will be a wonderful feature that I will possibly be continuing over the future years :).

1) Shirley Chisholm
Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (November 30, 1924 – January 1, 2005) was an American politician, educator, and author. She was a Congresswoman, representing New York's 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first black woman elected to Congress. On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. She received 152 first-ballot votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

To learn more about Shirley Chisholm, go here.

2) Matthew Henson
Henson met Commander Robert E. Peary in November 1887 and joined him on an expedition to Nicaragua, with 4 other people that Peary chose. Impressed with Henson’s seamanship, Peary recruited him as a colleague. For years they made many trips together, including Arctic voyages in which Henson traded with the Inuit and mastered their language, built sleds, and trained dog teams. In 1909, Peary mounted his eighth attempt to reach the North Pole, selecting Henson to be one of the team of six who would make the final run to the Pole. Before the goal was reached, Peary could no longer continue on foot and rode in a dog sled. Various accounts say he was ill, exhausted, or had frozen toes. In any case, he sent Henson on ahead as a scout. In a newspaper interview Henson said: “I was in the lead that had overshot the mark a couple of miles. We went back then and I could see that my footprints were the first at the spot.” Henson then proceeded to plant the American flag.

To learn more about Matthew Henson, go here.

3)Wilma Rudolph
Wilma Glodean Rudolph (June 23, 1940 – November 12, 1994) was an American athlete. Rudolph was considered the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and competed in two Olympic Games, in 1956 and in 1960.

In the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome she became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games. A track and field champion, she elevated women's track to a major presence in the United States. She is also regarded as a civil rights and women's rights pioneer. Along with other 1960 Olympic athletes such as Cassius Clay, who later became Muhammad Ali, Rudolph became an international star due to the first international television coverage of the Olympics that year.

The powerful sprinter emerged from the 1960 Rome Olympics as "The Tornado," the fastest woman on earth. The Italians nicknamed her "La Gazzella Negra" (the Black Gazelle); to the French she was "La Perle Noire" (The Black Pearl). She is one of the most famous Tennessee State University Tigerbelles, the name of the TSU women's track and field program.


Another week, three more people. If you have any suggestions for next week's three spotlights, please leave a comment! :D


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