February is National African-American History month. A time to recognize the accomplishments of African-Americans and acknowledge the struggles for equal rights in U.S. history. This year’s theme, “Civil Rights in America,” marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Some of the most notable figures for civil rights include:
- Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) a well-known famous orator and strong advocate for abolishing slavery. Among his accomplishments is the publication of his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave, about his life as a slave; the circulation of his abolitionist paper; and his role as an adviser to presidents.
- Harriet Tubman (1820-1913) one of the most celebrated leaders of the Underground Railroad, a network to help slaves escape to the free states and Canada. During a ten year period, she made 19 trips to the South escorting over 300 slaves to freedom, an amazing feat.
- W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963) the co-founder of the Niagara Movement. This group later became the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), an influential African-American civil rights organization.
We hope this month motivates you to remember all the great leaders and advocates of the Civil Rights movement. We leave you with a heart-felt quote from Ella Fitzgerald:
“Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”