The United States celebrates Black History Month every February. Black history month 2020 is an acknowledgment to black men and women who have made great contributions to the United States and the rest of the world in the fields of entertainment, the arts, sports, law, politics, and science. Though black history month is synonymous with famous people such as President Barack Obama, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King, there are a lot of other black people who have made a significant contribution in history.  


W.E.B. Du Bois 

Du Bois was a powerful black activist who fought to promote complete equality between whites and blacks. Du Bois discarded the 1909 Atlanta compromise and insisted on complete equality. Though small change was accomplished in his time, Du Bois laid the structure for the future civil rights movements and NAACP. 

Booker T. Washington 

Washington was an orator and author. He was an adviser to the presidents of Taft and Roosevelt. Washington was sometimes known as the de facto leader for blacks during the early 20th century and late 19th century. Washington promoted an incremental approach to enhancing life prospects and the education of African Americans.  

Toussaint Louverture 

Louverture was the leader of the Haitian slave rebellion. Louverture led the successful military rebellion in 1791 in Saint-Domingue. He then consolidated his influence and power over the next years to restore the plantation system with paid labor. H allowed the colony to stop slavery. It declared itself the Independent Republic of Haiti in 1804. 

Frederick Douglass 

Douglass was a previous slave. He became a leading figure in the movement for anti-slavery. Douglass was one of the most well-known black leaders of the 19th Century. Douglass’ speeches disapproving slavery and his autobiography of life as a slave were effective in changing the opinion of the public.  

Mohammed Ali 

Ali was the greatest boxer of the ‘60s. He refused to join in the battle against Vietnam. After his controversial choice, Ali later became broadly respected as an honorable figurehead of excellent stature.  

Desmond Tutu 

Tutu was the leading figure in the South African movement for anti-apartheid. He is also a leading figurehead in speaking out for civil rights and human rights issues.  

Jesse Owens 

Owens was an athlete who achieved 4 Olympic Gold Medals at “Hitler’s Olympics” in 1936 at Berlin. Despite bearing discrimination during his life, he kept an honorable stance on civil rights.  

Barack Obama 

Obama was the first President in the United States that is of African origin. He served 2 terms as President and was given the Nobel Peace Prize. He integrated health care reform and despite differences in political opinion, he spoke about the need for people to stay united.  

Nelson Mandela 

He spent almost all of his life promoting to end the apartheid in South Africa. Mandela was released in prison after more than 20 years. He was then able to be the first President to be elected in post-apartheid. He was also honored for his willingness and forgiveness.