I’m so, so, so tired of hearing the same ole Black History facts regurgitated over and over again. Martin fought and marched, George Washington Carver invented 400 products with either sweet potatoes or peanuts as the main ingredient. Garrett Morgan invented the gas mask and the traffic signal. Marion Anderson sang, Jesse Owens shamed the Nazis, and Frederick Douglas fought for FREEDOM.
That’s great, I love it. However, I don’t want to be told a whole lot of facts that I already know over and over again. I learned about these black heroes and black achievements in grade school. We colored pictures of MLK and Frederick Douglas. I want to know some different Black History facts. Here are some facts.
- The banjo originated in Africa, and until the 1800s was considered an instrument only played by Blacks.
- Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, patented a wrench in 1922.
- Buffalo Soldiers is the name given to all Black regiments of the U.S. army starting in 1866. The last Buffalo Soldier, Mark Matthews age 111, died in 2005.
- “Strange Fruit” the song about lynching made famous by Billie Holiday was originally a poem by Abel Meeropol, a Jewish schoolteacher from the Bronx.
- The Rolling Stones took their name from the song “Rollin’ Stone” by McKinley Morganfield aka. Muddy Waters.
- Martin Luther King Jr. was stabbed by an mentally deranged African American Woman in 1958 in Harlem at a book signing in Blumestein’s department store.
- Philadelphia was known as “the Black Capital of Anti-Slavery” because of the strong abolitionist presence.
- Wally “Famous Amos” Amos was a talent agent at the William Morris Agency where he worked with the Supremes and Simon & Garfunkle. He founded his cookie company in 1975 with a recipe from his aunt.
These are just a few facts that aren’t commonly discussed during Black History Month. I’m sure you can think of a few more.