African Americans Who Changed the World for the Better

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African Americans Who Changed the World for the Better

Ana Rondeau and America Juarez

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Black History Month is a month that we take to recognize important African American people, it was originally the second month of February called Negro History week which was established in 1926, though, the term is extremely offensive and is never used now. Then, the event was a huge controversial topic because it was before the Civil Rights movement and racist people believed African Americans didn’t deserve the holiday. Meanwhile, African Americans thought the used term was extremely offensive.N ow we know that a whole month is dedicated to acknowledge and appreciate important African American people in history.  That this month can create an opportunity to discuss the accomplishments of African Americans, not only within the Civil Rights movement, but in pop culture, science, and politics. These days hashtags like #blackexcellence and #blackgirlmagic help us to acknowledge successful and notable black people all year round. In this article we will showcase four different African American people who made in impact on our history.

Madame C.J. WalImage result for madam cj walkerker was the first ever woman self-made millionaire ever.  Before her, women would inherit their fortune from their families and added onto it through some sort of family business, but Madame C.J. Walker made all of her money herself.  Madame C.J. Walker was born on December 23 in 1867, her given name was Sarah Breedlove.

In the 1890’s, she developed a scalp disorder that caused her to lose most of her hair.  After being hired by Annie Turnbo Malone, she began to develop hair care products for African American women.  While she was perfecting her product, her husband helped her make advertisements and created the name, “Madame C.J. Walker” so her and her product could be easily remembered and recognized.  Her product soon became a success, she created something called “The Walker Method” which was a therapeutic combing method that involved her product and her and her husband promoted this method (and Sarah’s product) all around the south and southeast of Denver Colorado.  While business was growing, she opened a factory in 1908 and in 1910, her business moved to Indianapolis and started to not only make beauty products, but also she hired beauticians called “Walker Agents” that would professionally apply the products the company sells. The Walker company promoted it’s philosophy, “Cleanliness and lovliness.” which was meant to move up the status of female African Americans.

 

Image result for george washington carverGeorge Washington Carver was a agricultural scientist who was born an African American slave and went on to make many revolutionary inventions and even did some of the first genetic engineering ever.  He is most famous for developing hundreds of peanut, soybean and sweet potato based inventions. He actually did not invent peanut butter, though many people believe this. Peanut butter was actually invented by Marcellus Gilmore Edson in 1895.  Many people believe that it was Carver because of his many other revolutionary peanut (or more specifically peanut oil) based inventions.  Carver was the first ever African American to earn his Bachelor of Science degree and had an interest in plants. He went on to work at Iowa State Experimental Center and worked as a fungal scientist identifying treating plant diseases.  Soon, he started to genetically engineer plant DNA and made a cross breed of a flower, he went on to make several peanut oil based inventions like a peanut oil massage that helped people with joint pain, and even helped people who were paralyzed from polio.

Image result for ella bakerElla Baker was a women and civil rights activist. She fought for the unequal treatment in society. She was born 1903 in Norfolk, Virginia but grew up in North Carolina. Although she isn’t recognized for her amazing achievements, Ella helped shaped our world today.

When Baker was a young child, her grandmother told her about stories when she was a slave. Hearing these stories made her aware of unfair treatment in this county. She quickly began to learn what social justice was, and her desire to fix this broken society grew.

She attended Shaw University and was able to balance both her work and school life. She worked as a waitress and a lab assistant. While she attended the university, she often challenged the police and their unfair way of thinking. In 1927, she graduated as a valedictorian,  which is a student having the highest academic achievements of the class. After, she moved to New York to pursue her dream, helping the world become a better place.

Ella Baker was one of the co-founders of Young Negroes Cooperative league. This organization helped expand economic black power. It laid down a basic foundation for gender equality. She later became YNCL’s director. She helped many people while working in  organization, but later the President transferred her to NAACP.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is an organization that fights prejudice, lynching, and Jim Crow segregation, and to work for the betterment of “people of color”. She became the assistant field secretary of the NAACP. Baker and a group of people were able to raise money for one of the most inspiring and historic moments in back history, the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1995. This boycott was lead by E.D Nixon and Ann Robinson. The reasoning behind this is because black people didn’t want to be segregated in busses anymore. Ella baker is a women who changed the world. Her inspiring acts lead to triumph to society.

Image result for beyonceA more current role model for people is Beyoncé Giselle Knowles. What do you think when you hear the name Beyoncé? Maybe iconic, powerful, or exceptional? Beyoncé is one of the few black women in the music industry that people look up to. Some may even name her the most powerful woman in recent history.

Many may argue that Beyoncé rewrote the rules of the music industry. She first took the world by surprise in 2008 when she released her hit single, “Single Ladies”. For the next 11 years, she began to gain more popularity. She reached a new level of success. At this point, her race or gender didn’t matter. She gained many titles as the “first” female black musician to make history, like first black woman to win ASCAP Songwriting Award.

A major part that plays into her identity is being feminist. She writes songs about the true meaning of being a feminist. She often talks about this concept to normalize it and share the real meaning behind this powerful word. “ I put the definition of feminist in my song [“Flawless”] and on my tour, not for propaganda or to proclaim to the world that I’m a feminist, but to give clarity to the true meaning. I’m not really sure people know or understand what a feminist is, but it’s very simple. It’s someone who believes in equal rights for men and women…,”  Beyoncé explains. Songs like Independent Woman, and Girls Run the World makes women feel like they don’t need a man to depend on or to be happy. These songs show that girls can be strong and independent on their own. And this is what makes Beyoncé a role model for both men and women today.

Overall, there are many black figures in our society that don’t get enough recognition for the changes that have impacted our world. It’s beautiful to think about how far we’ve come thanks to people of color.

About the Writers
Ana Rondeau, Staff Writer

Ana Rondeau is a seventh grader here at Dana Middle School and this is her first year in Journalism. She went to Park Western Elementary School and was...

America Juarez, Staff Writer

America Juarez is a 7th grade student on the SAS program here at Dana Middle School. She is a new staff member who will contribute her ideas, opinions,...

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