When Black history month comes up each year, there seems to be a lot of whispering, questioning why Black folks need to have a month to themselves. Jamaal Brown, a young scholar and lecturer of African American history, believes a month is not long enough.
“The contributions of African people in this country and across the world have been significant,” he said. “The contributions of Black people are truly the missing pages of world history and it is important for our contributions be known, particularly to the youth so they can have a new brighter, positive outlook on who they are and what they are capable of doing and contributing to the world.”
He says understanding Black history is something African Americans cannot allow the world to forget, or allow our own communities to forget. Brown shapes his educational talks and presentations to attract all audiences, especially young people.
Typical public and even private schools conveniently brush over the civil rights movement to fulfill the African American requirement in their history curriculum.
“Are you pleased with your child’s progress?” Brown asks parents. “Are you pleased that your child walks around with his pants sagging. If that child is educated about the best of African American history, the best of who we are and where we come from without fail, a child will begin to pull his pants up and have that negative attitude towards women.”
He believes when Black people know their history, they begin to know who they are and respect where they come from.
Looking at all of the great historical figures in Black history, both American and global, African American contributions are essentially the foundation of world civilization.
Brown has created a calendar of Black facts found on black365.us.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson also known as “The Father of Black History Month,” established what was then called, “Negro History week.” In an effort to preserve African American history, Woodson established the week to empower and inform Blacks. He chose February because in the same month Abraham Lincoln’s birthday was observed and national hero, Fredrick Douglass was born. By 1976, the week turned into a month of observance.
Woodson was born to former slaves James and Eliza Woodson in New Canton, Virginia December 19, 1875. An achieved scholar and pursuant learner, the pioneer of Black history month earned is bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1907 and later obtained his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 1912.
Being the well-rounded educator he was, Woodson taught in the Philippines, at Howard University, and at West Virginia State College. He published hundreds of articles as a writer for the Journal of Negro History, which he founded, and the Negro World, Marcus Garvey’s weekly publication. Woodson also authored more than 30 books including “The Mis-Education of the Negro.”
Famous quote: “When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his ‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.”
Woodson passed away April 3, 1950.

Dr. Mae C. Jemison is America’s first female astronaut. But her title doesn’t stop there. She is also a chemical engineer, scientist, medical doctor, and teacher. She is fluent in Russian, Japanese, and Swahili. If anyone had many hats to wear, it is this woman. She is also trained in dance and African and African American history.
Jamison was born October 17, 1956 in Decatur, Alabama to her parents Charlie and Dorothy Jemison. As a young lady, she had fierce ambitions. She graduated from Morgan Park High School in Chicago at the age of 16 years old. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Stanford. She also completed the degree requirement in African American studies.
After earning her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1981 at Cornell University, she served in the Peace Corps from 1983 to 1985 as the West Africa’s Peace Corps medical officer. She also worked with the Center of Disease Control and as a general practitioner in Los Angeles.
Her dreams were too big to stop there so she enrolled in graduate courses and applied to NASA. After a second try, NASA admitted Jemison into their program in 1987 and completed the training program in August 1988. She then became the first Black female astronaut in NASA history.

Granville T. Woods, or the “Black Edison” was a great inventor of the late 1800s. With a scraggly formal education and a thirst for knowledge, Woods managed to invent a device he called “telegraphony.” The science enabled voice and telegraphic messages to be sent over a singe wire. American Bell Telephone Company bought the invention, which allowed Woods to become a full time inventor.
One of his most noted inventions was the Synchronous Multiplex Railway Telegraph, which allowed messages to be sent from moving trains and railway stations. This invention made railroads safer.
Woods was born April 23, 1856 in Columbus, Ohio. Formal education was more or less a luxury for Black people at the time, but Woods was able to attend school until the age of 10. He began working in machine shops repairing railroad equipment and machinery. Eventually he obtained a job as a fireman, but diligently studied electronics in his spare time. Later he settled and dedicated much of his time to improving railroad systems.
He filed his first patent in 1889 for an improved steam boiler furnace. Woods died January 30, 1910.

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander was a distinguished Black woman of her time accomplishing many firsts in Black history, including becoming the first Black woman to receive her Ph.D. in the United States. She was also the first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and was the first president of historically Black organization, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Alexander was an offspring of a lineage of several Black greats. She was born January 2, 1989 in Philadelphia to Aaron Albert Mossell and Mary Louise Tanner. Her uncle was a renown painter, Henry Osawa Tanner and her grandfather was a bishop the African Methodist Episcopal church.
With a standard of excellence and respect for education, Alexander attended the University of Pennsylvania where she earned her bachelors degree in education, master’s degree in economics, and her Ph.D in economics as well as law.
Former president Harry S. Truman appointed Alexander to the President’s Committee on Civil Rights in 1974, where she contributed to the foundation of civil rights policies and legislation. She later opened her own practice in 1959. A successful lawyer, Alexander was active in civic affairs for the remainder of her life. She died November 1, 1989.