8 Fun & Inspiring Black History Facts To Teach Your Child

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Black History Month is here again and it’s a time to reflect on the contributions of the black community that have changed our lives and society. While your child may be learning about the greats that we’ve all come to love, they may not get the chance to learn about lesser-known or more recent figures. That’s where you come in. Don’t worry if you can’t think of any new and interesting black history facts; here are eight to get you started:
  1. One in four cowboys was black. This is a fact that many people from any race aren’t aware of. During slavery, some black men would flee to the west and become cowboys. Though they still had to do the more undesirable work, they lived side by side with the white cowboys and were considered free.
  2. Condeleeza Rice and Martin Luther King Jr. both started college at the age of 15. Condeleeza Rice, went on the earn her Ph.D by the age of 26 and later became the 66th U.S.  Secretary of State. Dr. King also earned his Ph.D at 26. He became the leader of the Montgomery bus boycott only six months later.
  3. Henry “Box” Brown had one of the most creative escapes to freedom. He mailed himself from Richmond to Philadelphia in a shipping box. He endured a 27 hour journey but made it to freedom.
  4. Lonnie G. Johnson, an aerospace engineer, created the Super Soaker. While the Super Soaker was probably the least important of his accomplishments, it earned him the most money and popularity - plus it’s probably his most enjoyable accomplishment.
  5. Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court, was a troublemaker as a child. He often  misbehaved at school and was made to write out the U.S. Constitution every time he got in trouble, until he eventually memorized it...and developed an interest in law.
  6. Ann Lowe, an African American designer, designed Jackie Onassis Kennedy’s wedding dress. This is a fun fact for both you and your child!
  7. Sarah Rector was once the richest black child in the world. When the township her family lived in was dissolved in 1907, everyone received allotted land, including each member of her family. An oil company struck a large amount of oil on her land and paid her hundreds a day to drill it. She was nearly a millionaire by the age of 18.
  8. Garret A. Morgan invented the modern traffic light. Prior to Mr. Morgan, traffic lights only had red and green signals, and often malfunctioned. Garret A. Morgan’s improved traffic light is what we use today.
These are only a fraction of the contributions the black community has made to our society. You can use Black History Month as an opportunity to educate both your child and yourself on these important advances, no matter your race or ethnicity.

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By Alecia Stanton of Single Parents Alliance of America

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