Here’s a look at all of the Black Heroes we’ve highlighted throughout the month of February!
Mae is an American engineer, doctor, and former NASA astronaut. She became the first Black woman to travel in space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. She worked as an Astronaut for NASA for six years before leaving to create the Jemison Group. The Jemison Group’s mission was to provide technology consulting to research and develop sustainable technology and promote social change. Jemison went on to accept a teaching fellowship at Dartmouth and continues to use her platform to inspire others and share her wealth of knowledge with the world. Jemison’s Mother, Dorothy also started a foundation. As an educator for over 25 years, The Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence continues to spread Jemison’s love of learning. The Dorothy Jemison Foundation creates and shares teaching materials that focus on a hands on approach to learning. Check out more information and action items at: https://jemisonfoundation.org/about/
John Lewis was an American politician, statesman, and civil rights activist. He was born in Alabama, on February 21, 1940. Lewis was one of the “Big Six” leaders of groups who organized the 1963 March on Washington. The purpose of the march was to advocate for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. He won numerous awards, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Nonviolent Peace Prize in 1975, and the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2001.
Faith Ringgold is an African American artist, author, as well as an educator. Ringgold’s inspiration for her work was drawn from her experiences as a female African American woman growing up during the Civil Rights Movement. She used quilts to tell her stories and became famous for her beautiful works of art. Ringgold went on to write and illustrate children’s books.
Gordan Parks was an extremely talented man, who used his skills as a composer, author, director and photographer to shine a spotlight on social justice in America. His work showcased race relations, urban life, civil rights and poverty. He covered raw content and created photo essays that allowed people to view photo-journalism in a whole new way. He was the First African-American Photographer on the staff of Life Magazine. He also was the first African American Director of a major motion picture in 1969 when he directed The Learning Tree. Parks worked as a humanitarian showcasing various forms of discrimination in American culture.