5 Black History Facts You Didn’t Learn In School

(Source: BBC

Black history is rich, exciting, and complex. We believe in highlighting significant moments in black history that teach us valuable lessons for the future. Below are five black history facts you didn’t learn in school that will inspire you to be the change.

Fact 1

At the age of 15, Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat and move to the back of the Montgomery bus nine months before Rosa Parks. Police officers arrested her for defying the law. Claudette didn’t get a lot of visibility because of the color of her skin, her age, and she was expecting a child. We still believe Claudette is a trailblazer and should get the same recognition for her bravery. 

Fact 2

In 1969, the Black Panther Party started the free breakfast program for school children in Oakland, California. This program began with feeding a couple of children in Oakland to feeding thousands of children around the country. This improved children’s performance rates and changed the Black Panther Party’s narrative in the media. In 1975, the government issued a program to feed children before school. Children today benefit from these programs by having free breakfast and lunch at school. 

Fact 3

During World War II, many colleges did not hire Jewish people based on anti-semitism. However, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) such as Howard and North Carolina Central hired Jewish professors, supporting the Jewish community. HBCUs continue to produce leaders in our communities, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who attended Morehouse College, to Vice President Kamala Harris who attended Howard University.  

(Source: US News

Fact 4

In 1963, 5,000 children bravely stood up for their rights by participating in the Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a letter from a Birmingham jail noting that Alabama was profiting off of imprisoning black people by charging them for their release.  To combat this, Dr. King organized efforts to purposefully pack the prisons with black people that wouldn’t pay bail ultimately forcing the state to pay money to feed and house them. At the time, black people were targets for protesting. That’s when the children ages 4-18 courageously decided to take a stand and push for change.

Fact 5

In 1786, the Tignon Laws were passed in Louisiana. This prohibited Creole women from wearing their hair out and forcing them to wear head coverings. The creole women decided to wear their hair in wraps, adding intricate fabrics and jewels, making it a fashion statement. Today, black women worldwide protect their crowns with beautiful headwraps while also rocking their curls. 

These facts show how resilient, courageous, caring, and monumental black people are. It is important to celebrate the accomplishments and efforts of black people today and in the past for their impact on future generations. 

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