Black history is full of strong, inspiring leaders, determined to overcome the many challenges faced by their people. One of the most memorable is Martin Luther King, Jr., who gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech on Aug. 28, 1963. He deviated from his prepared script at the end when he described all the things that made up his dream for a better world.
The following year, King was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. At the time, he was the youngest recipient of the award. He was 35.
Another inspiring figure in black history was Thurgood Marshall, according to MSN Living. As a lawyer, he fought for civil rights, suing the University of Maryland for discrimination in their law school acceptance policy. In 1954, he appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court, winning the landmark Brown versus Board of Education case. This court decision declared that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional. Marshall was at the Supreme Court again in 1967, this time as a justice. He served until 1991.
One of black history's earliest leaders was Frederick Douglass, the son of a slave and a white man. Taken from his mother as a baby, Douglass lived as a slave until he was about 20. He escaped and went on to fight against oppression. His anti-slavery newspaper, "The North Star," was named for the light in the night sky that escaped slaves followed to find freedom.Learn More
Black History Month celebrates the contributions made by African-Americans to the history of the United States. The U.S. observes National African-American History Month in February of each year.Full Answer >
African Americans did not have the legal right to vote until the passage of the 15th amendment to the Constitution in 1870. However, the rights declared in that amendment were not protected or enforced until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.Full Answer >
In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the Constitution gave all men the right to vote. It specifically stated that a citizen had the right to vote regardless of race or color.Full Answer >
Rosa Parks, an African-American woman, overcame personal and financial hardships as a result of defying Southern U.S. segregation laws by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. She was jailed for her defiance and was soon released. She lost her job as a seamstress when her case garnered publicity, but she rose to become a Civil Rights icon.Full Answer >