Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, is an annual celebration each February of the rich cultural heritage and contributions by African Americans as well as a time for recognizing their central role in our history. Started in the United States in 1976, it is also officially recognized in Canada and more recently has been observed in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Historians link its celebration to National Negro Week which was started by Carter D. Woodson, an American historian, to better coordinate the teaching of African American history. It was celebrated in February to reference the birthdays of esteemed abolitionist, Frederick Douglas, and President Abraham Lincoln who ended slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.
Every Black History Month, pioneers in African American history are acknowledged like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, and Harriet Tubman. We are shining a light on three Black Americans who are less well known and deserve to be celebrated for their achievements and notable contributions to engineering and technology, medicine and sports.