Black History Month, which is celebrated each year during February, is a chance for Americans to learn details of their nation’s history that, unfortunately, are far too often neglected and pushed to the wayside. As the saying goes, black history is American history — and it’s a varied and rich history.
For February, LEAD Public Schools is celebrating by honoring some of the historically great contributions made by Black American leaders.
John Mercer Langston
John Mercer Langston was the first Black man to become a lawyer when he passed the bar in Ohio in 1854. When he was elected to the post of Town Clerk for Brownhelm, Ohio, in 1855 Langston became one of the first African Americans ever elected to public office in America.
Hiram Rhodes Revels
Hiram Rhodes Revels was the first African American ever elected to the U.S. Senate. He represented the state of Mississippi from February 1870 to March 1871.
Madam C.J. Walker
Madam C.J. Walker was born on a cotton plantation in Louisiana and became wealthy after inventing a line of African American hair care products. She established Madame C.J. Walker Laboratories and was also known for her philanthropy.
Before Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan joined the billionaire’s club, Robert Johnson became the first African American billionaire when he sold the cable station he founded, Black Entertainment Television (BET) in 2001.