Black History Month
The development of Black History Month began in 1915. Inspired by a 3-week celebration of Black history following the emancipation of slavery, Carter G. Woodson decided to form an organization to promote the scientific study of Black life and history. This organization created "Negro History Week" in 1926 to celebrate the contributions of Black people to the advance of human civilization.
This week of celebration gradually expanded to a month-long celebration. Black History Month has been endorsed by the President every year since the 1970s, but it was celebrated widely as early as the 1940s.
The celebration of Black history was never intended to be confined to just one week or one month. Black History Month is a time of acknowledgement, reflection, and inspiration for the continuous contributions of the Black community to the history and culture of the United States and the world.
The City of New Brighton invites its residents to take time to explore the different events in the metro area and find ways to honor the contributions of Black Americans as it is prominently weaved through the fabric of American history.
In recognizing the profound impact of significant Black historical figures, the City of New Brighton acknowledges the complexity of American history and its roots in racism and colonialism.
Senga Nengudi once said, "Being born Black in America is a political act." As such, the list of Black Americans who have lived extraordinary lives that continue to shape our country is truly endless.
Benjamin O. Davis Sr.
Benjamin O. Davis Sr. was the first Black general in the US Army. He pushed against racial boundaries to better the situation of future Black soldiers.
Audre Lorde described herself as a Black, Lesbian, feminist, socialist, mother, warrior, poet. She fiercely addressed oppressions through an intersectional lens.
Sojourner Truth was an outspoken advocate for abolition, alcohol temperance, civil rights, and women's rights.
Muhammad Ali was a professional boxer nicknamed, "the Greatest." His compassion, generosity, and social messages of Black pride were equally prominent.
Katherine Johnson was a NASA mathematician whose manual calculations played a key role in the success of several aerospace missions.
Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha P Johnson was a Black trans woman who stood at the forefront of fighting for LGBTQ rights and played a prominent role in the Stonewall riots.
Alice Coachman was the first Black woman from any country to win an Olympic gold medal.
Gil Scott-Heron was a musician described as "the godfather of rap" and helped shape hip-hop and neo soul.
Gordon Parks was a photographer, and he was the first Black writer and director of studio film.
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler
Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first Black American to become a doctor of medicine. She battled prejudice against women and Black people in medicine.
Bessie Coleman was the first Black & Native American female pilot. She paved the way for the Tuskegee Airmen, Blackbirds, and Flying Hobos.
Bayard Rustin was the strategist and main organizer for the Civil Rights Movement. If Bayard Rustin hadn't identified as a gay man, it is highly likely that his would be the name the world knows today in lieu of Martin Luther King Jr.
Ethel Waters was the first Black American to star in her own television show and to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
Maya Angelou has been quoted thousands of times as she is a brilliant author and poet. While she held various entertainment industry roles, including Hollywood's first Black female director, she was most known for her writing and poetry as it relates to civil rights.
Fredrick McKinley Jones
Fredrick McKinley Jones was an inventor, engineer, and entrepreneur. He invented the first successful system for mobile refrigeration, which allowed food to be delivered longer distances.
Jane Bolin graduated Yale Law School to become the first Black female attorney and judge.
Jesse Owens was a record-setting track and field athlete who captivated the world's attention through his exceptional performances at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Robert Sengstacke Abbott
Robert Sengstacke Abbott was a laywer, editor, and newspaper publisher. He founded The Chicago Defender, which played a large role in many Black Americans migrating from the South for better economic opportunities.
Gwendolyn Brooks was the first author to win a Pulitzer prize. She also held notable roles such as the poetry consultant to the Library of Congress and Poet Laureate of the state of Illinois.
Shirley Chisholm was the first Black woman to be elected to Congress. She was also the first Black woman of a major party to run for a presidential nomination.
The Black Market
The Black Market meets every month to highlight Black businesses, food, and culture. Their Black History Month Celebration event is happening on Feb. 10, 2024, from 2-6pm at The Case Building. There will be over 60 vendors, artists, community organizations, and makers. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public, but purchasing a (free) ticket is recommended.
Sounds of Blackness
Sounds of Blackness is a vocal and instrumental ensemble from the Twin Cities, who perform music from several genres of music including gospel, R&B, soul, and jazz. They will be playing on Feb. 15, 2024, 6:30pm at the Minnetonka Community Center. You may purchase tickets starting Feb. 1st at 10am (limit 2 tickets per order). A sensory room will be available for guests that need it.
Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn center are hosting a film screening and moderated conversation with award-winning journalist Dawn Stevens. Come watch and discuss "Stand: In the Blink of an Eye" with Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, at the Community Activity Center starting at 4:30 PM. Additionally, the flyer provides contact information for folks who want to learn more or receive the information in other languages.
The Minnesota Historical Society has a collection of videos centering Black voices in talking about Black History, Black Liberation, and more!
Black Bottom Saints
A blend of fact and imagination that tells the story about Detroit's legendary Black Bottom neighborhood, known for jazz, sports, and politics.
Four Hundred Souls
A collection of the works of 90 writers to comprehensively recount the struggle and the hope of the Black experience in the United States over the course of 400 years.
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
A book for ages 4 and up, these are the stories of 40 Black women, including Bessie Coleman, Shirley Chisholm, and Maya Angelou.
An American Marriage
A novel that piercingly portrays the criminal justice system in America and its impact on generations of Black people.
Wade in the Water
A book of poems that ties America's contemporary moment both to our nation's fraught founding history and to a sense of the spirit, the everlasting.
The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth
A powerful collection of short stories, essays, and poems that invites all families to be anti-racist and advocates for change.