15 Rare Black History Facts You've
1. Carter G. Woodson was the son of former
enslaved Africans James and Eliza Riddle
Woodson. He gained a master's degree at the
University of Chicago in 1908, and in 1912, he
received a Ph.D. in history from Harvard
University. Woodson, known as the "Father of
Black History" started Negro History week in
1926, which later became Black History Month.
2. Woodson believed rather than only focusing on
a few men and women in America, the Black
community should focus on the countless Black
men and women around the world who had
contributed to the advancement of human
3. Actor Morgan Freeman says a month dedicated to Black history is
"ridiculous." In an 2005 interview on "60 Minutes," Freeman said, "You're
going to relegate my history to a month? I don't want a Black history month.
Black history is American history."
4. As a child Muhammad Ali was refused an autograph by his
boxing idol, Sugar Ray Robinson. When Ali became a
prizefighter, he vowed never to deny an autograph request,
which he honored throughout his career.
5. In 1976, 50 years after the first celebration, President
Gerald Ford officially expanded Negro History Week to Black History Month.
6. During the 1930s, painter Charles Alston founded the 306 group, which convened in
his studio space and provided support and apprenticeship for African-American artists,
including Langston Hughes; sculptor Augusta Savage; and mixed-media visionary
7. Before Wally Amos became famous for his
"Famous Amos" chocolate chip cookies, he was a
talent agent at the William Morris Agency, where he
worked with the likes of the Supremes and Simon &
8. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on
friend Maya Angelou's birthday, on April 4, 1968.
Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday for years
afterward, and sent flowers to King's widow, Coretta Scott King, for more than 30 years,
until Coretta's death in 2006.
9. Louis Armstrong lea