By Trevá Perry
Customer Service Manager
Researching and promoting black achievements began with the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) in 1915. In 1926, the group sponsored a National Negro History Week which coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglas. In 1976, President Gerald Ford seized the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of black Americans and deemed the month of February as Black History Month.
American history books repeatedly highlight the same figures, but there are more black innovators that go unrecognized. Henry Blair was the second African American to be issued a United States patent. His inventions of the “Seed Planter” in 1834 and “Cotton Planter” in 1836 made the task of planting seeds more efficient than doing so by hand. Booker T. Whatley, a horticulturist and professor, wrote and published the book How to Make $100,000 Farming 25 Acres, which offered ways farmers can minimize costs and waste while maximizing income and farm space. Both men influenced current machinery and ideas.
Black people are recognized for their ability to resist ongoing oppression and have influenced society through fashion, entertainment, food, politics, business and more. We celebrate black history month to tell stories that may otherwise go untold. To recount the contributions black people have made to the formation of the United States. It highlights the accomplishments and history of black leaders, public figures, and innovators over time.
Verdesian’s Trevá Perry
To me, being black is more than wearing Black Lives Matter paraphernalia. It is my everyday armor which gives me the confidence to take on the world. It is my duty to be educated on the path those like me have paved and to do the same for the generations to come. The celebration of black history is inclusive; one does not have to identify as black to participate. Individuals can provide support by purchasing from black-owned businesses, spreading awareness, or donating to black-led causes.