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This month TUSD celebrates the rich diversity of America by honoring the contributions of African Americans to our great country.
  • Week of February 15th – February 19th
    Black History Month and Political Leaders (Fun Facts)

    In 2009, Barack Obama became the first African American to serve as President of the United States. However, two others had run for the presidency before Barack Obama (Shirley Chisholm in 1972 and Jessie Jackson in 1984).
    Jessie Jackson
    Shirley Chisholm
    In 2001, became the first African American to serve as Secretary of State.
    In 1993,
    Dr. Joycelyn Elders became the first African American to serve as Surgeon General of the U.S.
    In 1967, Thurgood Marshall was selected as the first African American to serve as U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
    In 1990, Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the first African American to be elected governor of a state.
  • Week of February 8th – February 12th
    The Harlem Renaissance
    The Harlem Renaissance (1920 – 1930) was a time when African American writers, musicians, artists and scholars migrated to what became one of the largest (if not the largest) African American communities in the United States.
    Harlem Renaissance History
    The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow

    Famous people that emerged during the Harlem Renaissance are highlighted below:

    James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)
    James Weldon Johnson is most famous for writing the lyrics to “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Lift Every Voice and Sing has been labeled the Black National Anthem.
    James Weldon Johnson Biography
    Encyclopeadia Britannica Biography

    Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)
    Born in 1891, Zora Neale Hurston was considered one of the great writers of twentieth-century African American literature. She was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance and has influenced such writers as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. Some of her most famous work include Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937) and Mules and Men (1935).
    Zora Neale Hurston: 7 Facts on Her 125th Birthday
    Official Website of Zora Neale Hurston

    Ethel Waters (1896-1977)
    During the 1920’s, Ethel Waters was a leading entertainer in Harlem. Known as Sweet Mama String bean, she performed and sang the blues. In 1927, she began a successful career on the Broadway stage. She is most famous for her work in the 1940 musical drama Cabin in the Sky.
    Ethel Waters Biography

    Duke Ellington (1899-1974)
    Duke Ellington was born in Washington, D.C. in 1899. He is credited with creating one of the most distinct ensemble sounds in music. During the 1930’s he performed at the famous Cotton Club in New York. During his career, Ellington composed thousands of songs and won 13 Grammy Awards.
    Duke Ellington Biography
    Official Duke Ellington Site

    Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
    Considered Harlem’s most famous poet, Langston Hughes was born in 1902. Born in Missouri, Hughes moved to New York to be a part of the energy and excitement of the Harlem Renaissance. Hughes most famous poem is “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.”
    Langston Hughes Biography

    Videos and resources about the History of Black History Month

    Origins of Black History Month
    Black History Facts
    Black History Information


    carter woodsonBlack History Month was created by Carter G. Woodson, PhD, in February 1926. Originally called Negro History Week, Woodson created the concept of Black History Week so all students would have the opportunity to learn about Black History. Woodson chose the 2nd week in February in celebration of Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. Negro History Week, now known as Black History Month, was an opportunity to inform students in school and the community at large about the Harlem Renaissance and the many contributions of African Americans to the United States.

  • Week of February 1st – February 5th
    Black History Month and STEM

    Otis BoykinHelp Your Heart
    Otis Boykin was born on August 29, 1920, in Dallas, Texas. After high school he attended and graduated from Fisk University, a Historical Black College and University (HBCU), in 1941. After college he worked for a radio and television company and began inventing different products. Mr. Boykin’s most notable invention is a control unit for pacemakers. A pacemaker is a small device that is placed under the skin near the heart to help control your heartbeat. For more information visit Famous Black Inventors and Otis Boykin Biography.




    dr. mark deanComputer Inventor
    Dr. Mark Dean, born March 2, 1957, has more the 20 patents for his inventions. His groundbreaking work in computer science led to the creation of color personal computer monitors. In 1999, his work led to the creation of the 1st gigahertz computer chip. The creation of the gigahertz chip gave computers the capacity to do a billion calculations per second. For more information visit Mark Dean Biography and Famous Black Inventors.



    mae carol jemisonTravel into Space
    Mae Carol Jemison is an American physician and NASA astronaut. After obtaining her medical degree and working as a doctor, she became the first African-American woman to be admitted into the astronaut training program. She later became the first African American woman to travel in space when she went into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour on September 12, 1992. Visit Mae C. Jemison Biography, Black Scientists and Inventors and


    meharry medical collegeMeharry Medical College
    Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Meharry Medical College is one of the nation's oldest and largest historically black colleges dedicated to educating physicians, dentists, researchers, and health policy experts. Founded in 1876, Meharry was the first medical school in the South for African Americans. It was chartered separately in 1915.

    Today, Meharry includes a medical school, dental school, and a graduate school. The degree programs include Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.), Master of Science (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. (Information is from the Meharry Medical College Website

    xavier universityXavier University
    Xavier University, in Louisiana, is ranked #1 in the nation in awarding bachelor's degrees to African American students in the biological and biomedical sciences, the physical sciences, and physics. Xavier is ranked #1 in the nation in the number of African American graduates who go on to complete medical school. Xavier is ranked in the top 4 colleges of pharmacy in graduating African Americans with Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) degrees. Xavier is ranked #3 in the nation in the number of African American graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D. in science and engineering. The Department of Physics is #1 in the nation for awarding African Americans baccalaureate degrees in physics and the physical sciences. Xavier is consistently ranked by the American Chemical Society as one of the top 25 universities in the nation in awarding bachelor’s degrees in chemistry. Xavier was also singled out as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review in the 2016 edition of its annual “The Best 380 Colleges”. For more information visit Xavier University.

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