Influential Black Figures who Shaped History

Ren Juarez , Reporter

February is dedicated to celebrating Black History Month, which is owed to

writer and historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who started this tradition. In honor of this

month, here are some influential black figures who shaped history.

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman is best known for her work on the Underground Railroad, during the 1850s, which was a lifeline for slaves to escape to freedom. Tubman was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War. She led 19 different escapes from the South and helped around 300 slaves gain their freedom.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist. He was the leading force behind the withdrawal of segregation laws in 1960s, using nonviolent civil disobedience. He fought to overturn Jim Crow segregation laws and eliminate social and economic differences between blacks and whites.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was a world famous poet, author, historian, singer and civil rights activist. She is best known for her 1969 memoir, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” which made literary history as the first nonfiction best-seller by an African American woman. Angelou was awarded with the This Grammy and Horatio Alger award.

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was an abolitionist leader, author and orator. After escaping slavery at age 20 in 1838, he went on to become a world-renowned anti-slavery activist. Douglas became one of the most famous intellectuals of his time. He spent his time advising presidents and lecturing to thousands of people about many different causes, including women’s rights.

Sojourner Truth

Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist and an advocate for woman suffrage, best known for her speeches on racial inequalities. She was born a slave but was able to escape slavery in 1826. Truth gave her most famous speech called “Ain’t I a Woman,” at a women’s rights convention in Ohio.