Celebrating Black History Month

Dr. Byron Edwards is Nossi College of Art’s Vice President for Academic Affairs, meaning he works directly with our faculty members and advisory board to ensure our creative curriculum is up to date and hires creative teachers for our classes. During the month of February, Dr. Edwards started a community-wide email honoring and celebrating Black History Month. Dr. Edward’s undergraduate degree is in American History, and he loves history, teaching, and learning new things.

In his email, he quoted three influential Black Americans, and he challenged the Nossi family to share their Black heroes. Below is the list of Black Americans that Nossi students and faculty shared and wanted to recognize during Black History Month 2021 for their outstanding contributions and accomplishments.

“How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday you will have been all of these.”

George Washington Carver

Influential Black Americans

  • George Washington Carver – Scientist, Inventor, and a Genius
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. – Peaceful Social Justice Activist, a Leader
  • Louis Armstrong – Talented Musician and Singer
  • Katherine Johnson – Brilliant Mathematician, a Human Computer
  • Dorothy Vaughan – Computer Programmer and Mathematician
  • Mary Jackson – Mathematician, Aerospace Engineer, and the first Black Female engineer for NASA
  • Booker T. Washington – Author, Educator, and Founder of Tuskegee University

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”

Booker T. Washington
  • Charles Drew – Surgeon and Medical Researcher. Dr. Drew discovered the way to separate blood plasma and developed techniques for blood storage. These accomplishments are credited with saving millions of lives.
  • Gwendolyn Brooks – First African-American author to win the Pulitzer Prize (1950). She is considered one of the most revered poets of the 20th century.
  • Jane Bolin – First African-American woman judge (1939) in the U.S. She convinced employers to hire people based on their skills rather than their race.
  • Henry O. Tanner – First black American artist to achieve international recognition for his paintings, creating a style that resonated with people all over the world.
  • Langston Hughes – American poet, author, and columnist who condemned racism and wrote children’s books about equality. From one of his poems, “Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.”
  • Elijah McCoy – Inventor and Engineer with 57 U.S. patents
  • Robert Abbott – Lawyer and Founder of a newspaper that inspired millions
  • Richard Allen – Founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church which today has over 2.5 million members. He was an Educator and Abolitionist.
  • Benjamin Oliver Davis, Sr. – The first African-American General for the U.S. Army. He developed and implemented the desegregation of combat forces in WWII.
  • James “Jesse” Owens – Outstanding American athlete who dominated the 1936 Olympics, held in Berlin, Germany embarrassing Hitler in the process.
  • Gordon Parks – First African-American photographer for Life magazine. His images and photo essays resonated with people all over the world.
  • Isabella “Sojourner Truth” Baumfree – Lecturer, women’s rights activist, and slavery abolitionist whose talks inspired people of all genders and races.

Though it seems curious, I do not remember ever asking for anything but what I got it. And I always received it as an answer to my prayers.

Sojourner Truth
  • Harriet Tubman – The “Conductor” of the Underground Railroad, a Nurse, and a Spy for the Union during the Civil War. She is credited with helping hundreds of slaves find freedom.
  • Bessie Coleman – She was the first African-American woman to pilot an airplane. She earned her license in France and became an expert in stunt flying/aerial tricks.
  • Harry Belafonte – Singer, Storyteller, and a Pioneer in the Entertainment Field
  • Jackie Robinson – First black major league baseball player who was an extremely talented athlete. He handled the “push-back” and prejudice against him with grace and dignity and “opened the door” for other Black athletes.
  • Mae Jemison – First African-American woman to orbit the earth from space. She is also a doctor and a teacher. She encourages women to study math/technology.

Never limit yourself because of other’s limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”

Mae Jemison
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