Black History Month is celebrated in the U.S. - and in Roswell - throughout the month of February.
American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week to commemorate the contributions that people of African descent have made to our nation on Feb. 12, 1926. In Roswell today, the city celebrates the history and achievements of local African-Americans with "Roswell Roots," a month long festival which sponsors a variety of art exhibits, history and cultural events
For many years, the second week of February was set aside nationally for the celebration to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and editor Frederick Douglass.
In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month. Each year, U.S. presidents declare February National African-American History Month.
Here are a few highlights you might enjoy:
- Catch the Freddy Cole in concert this Friday at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center
- Participate in the 2nd Annual Cornbread Cookoff - or just stop by to taste all the delicious samples on Feb. 23
- “Slammin’ in the Suburbs:” Roswell Poetry Slam at the Roswell Historic Cottage on Feb. 21
Here are some famous Black History Month trailblazers from Biography.com:
Nathaniel Alexander was the first to patent the folding chair. His invention was designed to be used in schools, churches and at large social gatherings.
Henry Blair, the second African-American to receive a patent, invented a corn seed planter in 1834 and a cotton planter in 1836. Blair could not read or write and signed his patent with an X.
Joseph Winters invented a fire escape ladder in 1878.
Sarah E. Goode invented a bed that folded up into a cabinet in 1885. Contrary to popular belief, she was not the first African-American woman to receive a patent, but the second.
George Carruthers invented the far ultraviolet electrographic camera, used in the 1972 Apollo 16 mission.