Celebrating black history

These famous Black Americans have made a difference


Krupa Patel, staff writer

February is Black History Month. This month actually started in 1926 as Negro History Week. The first Black History Month was celebrated in 1970 at Kent State University but it was actually two months long. It became a national celebration in 1976 when then-President Gerald Ford made February the official month to celebrate the history of Black Americans.. Here is a look at five famous Black Americans who have impacted our society.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As many of us may already know MLK made a very big change in the country we live in today. He was a part of the segregation of African-Americans. MLK also lead a parade and gave his “I have a dream” speech to end racism in the United States. If MLK had not done all the things he had we would be living in a very unpleasant country. The African-Americans would still be separated from the whites, and it wouldn’t be a friendly place to live in at all. There would be a lot of riots between people because everybody wouldn’t have the same freedom or equality. Thanks to MLK we are able to have friends, and family that are not the same race as us, and we are able to live in a country with equality. And not just equality, everybody has equal freedom.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama was the first black president of our country. He made an impact on several people’s lives. He started the Obamacare Act in which it made sure all Americans had access to affordable health insurance. That had a major impact on society’s health problems. One very important thing that Obama did was make sure that regardless of our opinion in politics we all remain one as a country. This is how Barack Obama has had a change in our country.

Major Taylor

Many of you know Marshall Walter “Major” Taylor becase of the Major Taylor Velodrome bicycling facility near Maruian Univerity.  Taylor was an American professional cyclist. Born and raised in Indianapolis, where he worked in in bicycle shops and began racing multiple distances. He moved to Massachusetts as a teenager and later lived in Chicago.

Taylor was a world champion cyclists who spent the later years of his life living in poverty in Chicago. Throughout his career he challenged the racial prejudice he encountered on and off the track and became a pioneering role model for other athletes facing racial issues. Several cycling clubs, trails, and events in the U.S. have been named in his honor, as well as the Major Taylor Velodrome in Indianapolis and Major Taylor Boulevard in Worcester.

Jesse Owens

Leaders don’t always have to be political leaders in order to be seen. Jesse Owens shocked the world with his athletic skills back in 1936 and he is still remembered to this day. He used to run track and field, but he was more special because he was a four time Olympic gold medalist in 1936. Adolf Hitler was using sports to represent his Nazi Germany. He had high hopes that the German athletes would completely take over and dominate sports with victories. Owens completely changed the game and won the Olympic gold medal and represented himself as a Jewish-American instead of letting the Germans take over.

Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was also an athletic figure. His victories from the 1960’s are remembered and talked about to this day. Ali was a famous boxer, he appeared on the Sports Illustrated cover 38 different times. He was a leader because he went truly above and beyond to make himself be known and remembered. His last concern was what others had to say about him, he just always came out in the ring and showed off his skills.