Why celebrate Black History Month? The answer to that somewhat rhetorical question is, for the same reasons we celebrate Women’s History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, Asian Pacific-Americans Heritage Month and American Indian Heritage: To celebrate the many contributions of that particular group to America and the world. We at GLI feel very strongly that young people deserve an accurate history of their country and their community — good and bad – and the Emancipation Proclamation, Brown v. Board of Education, the Montgomery bus boycott, the Birmingham church bombing and other significant events in African-American history are just as significant in U.S. history. That’s why we celebrate Black History Month.
Martin Luther King, Duke Ellington, Maya Angelou, Sojourner Truth, W. E. B. DuBois, Jackie Robinson, Hattie McDaniel, Muhammad Ali, Barack Obama – most Americans know the names and most probably know the accomplishments of these people. But there are so many others. The independent business owner Madam C.J. Walker, who created her own hair product company in 1867 and became America’s first self-made woman millionaire. The inventor of the traffic signal light and the gas mask, the Ohioan Garret A. Morgan. And Otis Boykins, who invented electronics crucial to computers. And the pioneering eye surgeon, Dr. Patricia Bath. And one of the greatest inventors ever – he invented 400 products from plants, including peanut butter – George Washington Carver. However, there are so many others. So, this February, we at GLI wanted to provide a list of inventions which have improved the lives of not only Americans, but the entire world community.