Americans have recognized February, Black History Month annually since 1926 launched by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. It is a time to honor in jubilation the contributions and achievements African Americans have made to every area of the country. African Americans have helped shape this nation and continue to play important roles in areas ranging from education to entertainment.
In celebration of this month to remember, citizens are encouraged to use each day of February to reflect on the struggles and triumphs faced by African Americans as our nation presses toward its difficult transition from slavery to genuine social equality.
West Chester University is the home where Fredrick Douglass the former orator, journalist, author, abolitionist and slave gave his last public lecture on February 1895. In this month his birthday is also celebrated.
Among him and so many other distinguished African Americans, people far and wide celebrate the life and legacy of African American leaders who have paved the way for many to overcome test and trials for a promising tomorrow and an even brighter future. When asked what does black history month means to some West Chester students, they responded:
“Pride, without your history, you don’ know your future.”
“One man’s dream can become one man’s vision which leads to one man’s truth.”
“It is a time when all races and ethnicities are encouraged to take pride in the backgrounds and learn more about their heritage.”
In observance of this month and future months to come, black history month is a month where “every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the stars to change the world,” said Harriet Tubman.
As the nation highlights and celebrate the many achievements of Black Americans, here are the top ten African American inventions provided by Scholastic.com
Garrett Morgan (1877-1963) invented the gas mask and traffic light. Otis Boykin (1920-1982) invented the electronic control devices for guided missiles, IBM computers, and the pacemaker. Dr. Patricia. E. Bath (1949-) invented a method of eye surgery that has helped many blind people to see. Lonnie G. Johnson (1949-) invented the world-famous watergun known as the Supersoaker. Lewis Latimer (1848-1928) invented an important part of the light bulb – the carbon filament. George Washington Carver (1860-1943) invented peanut butter and 400 plant products. Madam C. J. Walker (1867-1919) invented a hair-growing lotion. Jan Ernst Matzeliger (1852-1889) invented a shoemaking machine that increased shoemaking speed by 900 percent. Granville T. Woods (1856-1910) invented a train-to-station communication system. Elijah McCoy (1843-1929) invented an oil-dripping cup for trains.
Ronni Cain is a third year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at RC631645@wcupa.edu.