February marks Black History Month, an annual remembrance of significant figures and events in the history of the African diaspora.
Origin of Black History Month
Black History Month was established in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History declared the second week of February "Negro History Week." The week was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two significant figures in the fight to abolish slavery. The civil rights movement propelled Negro Week to evolve into Black History Month, which was officially recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976.
Importance of Black History Month
Black History Month is a chance to better learn African Americans' histories and highlight their achievements. It helps us to understand the historical perspective and struggles of African Americans, past and present. When this perspective is better understood, we can be more prepared to recognize where systemic racism still exists and identify a more equitable path forward.
Black Inventors who made our homes and lifestyle better
Did you know that inventions from many African Americans still impact our everyday lives? Here are a few examples of their inventions that help us maintain a safe and healthy home for generations:
- In 1882, Lewis Howard Latimer, an American inventor, made electric lighting more efficient and affordable for use in homes.
- Marie Van Brittan Brown invented the first home security system in 1966.
- Willis Johnson made cooking for the family easier and more convenient in 1884 by inventing a mixing machine for eggs, dough, and other ingredients used by bakers.
- Mark Dean developed several landmark technologies, including the color PC monitor in 1980 and the first gigahertz chip in 1999.
- Joseph Hawkins made the dreams of many home chefs come true by developing an improved gridiron for home cooking in 1845.
- Lloyd Ray improved home cleaning while reducing back strain by inventing an improved dustpan in 1897.
The Bottom Line
Black History Month is an opportunity for all to learn about and appreciate the numerous contributions of African Americans in America. Their inventions and support are essential to our everyday lives. Let us reflect and be thankful to them for their significant addition and accomplishments to American society and work to make our country a more equitable home moving forward.