It’s day 6 of black history month and I am ready to do my part to celebrate it. As I mentioned last week when I wrote about my mom’s immigration story during her time off from working full time she did a lot around my school and the community. One of her achievements was becoming the Cultural Heritage Month Coordinator at my elementary school. She no longer has that position (my younger sister is about to graduate high school after all), but her work was important none- the- less. She got teachers and parents involved and found out about a lot of people even she hadn’t heard of. Between that, and once again branching off of Hidden Figures, I hope I can introduce you to at least one cool person you didn’t know about before (as well as direct you to other sources).
Major Robert H. Lawrence Jr.– To stay in space for a moment, Robert Lawrence Jr. was the first African American chosen to be an astronaut.He was also a test pilot and senior United States Air Force pilot with over 2,500 flight hours. Unfortunately he died in a training accident before making it to space, but his role in history was important just the same.
Chevalier de Saint- Georges– Going a bit farther back in time, the mixed race man also known as ‘the Black Mozart‘ (though he came before Mozart) excelled at both fencing and music. He studied with the French composers François-Joseph Gossec and Jean-Marie Leclair, and became first violin, or concertmaster, of Le Concert des amateurs. One of the shorter pieces I could find can be heard here though I’d definitely suggest looking up more of his work.
Madame CJ Walker– This one is a bit more personal to me because we share a birthday (December 23), but Walker’s wealth wasn’t just unique because she was black, she was the first female millionaire period (due to the fact that she was self made). She created beauty (specifically hair) products for black women after her own hair started falling out. She also donated money and time to the NAACP, the National Association of Colored Women, the YMCA, and the YWCA and provided the largest contribution for saving the home of Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.
Ida B. Wells– I’m kind of cheating for this one, because once again Kat Blaque’s words/ work does her much more justice. So enjoy:
Stay tuned next week. Today was kind of themeless but for the 13th I want to highlight some Queer/LGBTQA+ black people. 💗