Celebrating Black History Month

How these 16 African-American figures shaped American history


The Students of Color Alliance made posters around the school to recognize important African-American figures in history.

To celebrate Black History Month, the Students of Color Alliance (SOCA) club made posters about 16 African-American figures who have made an impact on US history. Many would agree that taking the time to recognize the challenges and achievements of Black Americans throughout history is a crucial component of education. This list of African-Americans figures can be seen on posters in the pod hallways around the school.

  1. James Baldwin – Author & essayist famous for his novels Giovanni’s Room and Go Tell It on the Mountain and writing essays on civil rights and gay rights.
  2. Shirley Chisholm – First Black woman in Congress and first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
  3. Bayard Rustin – Organizer of the 1963 March on Washington where Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech took place.
  4. Audre Lorde – Poet, author and activist for civil rights and gay rights.
  5. Mae Jemison – First Black woman to travel into space as a NASA astronaut.
  6. Madam C.J. Walker – First female Black millionaire who marketed hair and cosmetic products for Black women.
  7. Katherine Johnson – The NASA mathematician the movie “Hidden Figures” is based on, who also was critical to Apollo 11 and other flights in space.
  8. Mark Dean – Co-created the first personal computer in 1981. 
  9. Ethel Waters – Starred on Broadway and was the first Black woman to star in her own TV show.
  10. Harry Belafonte – Famous singer of Calypso music and advocated for civil rights.
  11. Alma Thomas – Paved the way for Black female artists and exhibited her own work in the White House three times.
  12. Gordon Parks – Fought for civil rights through photojournalism.
  13. Marie Daly – First Black woman to receive a PhD in chemistry and researched cholesterol and the heart.
  14. Rebecca Lee Crumper – First Black doctor in the US who provided medical care to freed slaves.
  15. Alice Coachman – First Black woman to win an Olympic gold medal.
  16. Vivien Thomas – A surgeon who developed a crucial technique for modern heart surgery and treating low oxygen levels in infants.