Happy Friday everyone! I hope all is well with you all. I’m feeling pretty good myself. As we near the end of February also known as Black History Month, I wanted to share a few lesser-known and interesting facts about Black History. This is a month that reflects and pays tribute to the achievements of generations of African Americans.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
1.) The Black population in the United States went from being 4.8 million residents in 1870 to 43.8 million in 2018.
2.) Black History Month was originally started and celebrated as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G Woodson. He chose the second week of February specifically because it covered the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12th) and Frederick Douglass (February 14th).
3.) The late 15th century brought advanced seafaring technologies that allowed ships to connect West Africa with Europe and the Americas. During the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade from 1500 to 1866, over 12 million African slaves were shipped across the world. Unfortunately, only 10.7 million survived the Middle Passage. The majority of slaves ended up in Brazil where terrible working conditions resulted in high mortality rates. Of the 12 million slaves, around 388,000 arrived in the United States.
4.) The first historically black college was Cheyney University (est 1837) in Pennsylvania.
5.) The Wild Wild West attracted enslaved Blacks in hopes of freedom and wages. 1 in 4 cowboys was a black man. Cowboys lived dangerously battling things like rattlesnakes, bad weather, and even outlaws! Black cowboys were expected to perform the roughest jobs compared to white cowboys.
6.) Matthew Henson did not get much recognition after accompanying Robert Perry on the first successful expedition to the North Pole. He later published a detailed memoir of his adventures titled A Negro Explorer in the North Pole.
As always, thanks so much for reading! Questions, comments, and feedback are always welcome. If you enjoyed this post, please comment, like and share! Make sure to check out my Instagram; @tianiangela_ and my latest video on YouTube💋