Ever since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History month. It is a time when the country focuses attention on the many historic contributions of African-Americans to our American culture.
Research into Black history facts will take one into topical areas that include civil rights, modern literature, music, theatre and culture, inventions in science and technology, and much more. The choice of research paper topics seems endless.
Black history facts
Whatever your interest, you will likely be able to find a connection from that topic to Black history in the United States. At Biography.com, a look at “Black History,” reveals many unsung heroes and contributors to American history and culture.
Examples of African-Americans who changed America include:
Entrepreneurs such as Christiana Chareaux Bannister whose successful string of hair salons and line of hair care products made it possible for her to provide financial support to a home for aged colored women and a regiment of African-American soldiers who fought in the Civil War.
Scientists such as chemist Dr. Percy Julian whose research resulted in numerous patents including a fire retardant that has saved many lives and an affordable way to produce the steroid cortisone.
Civil rights activist, Medgar Evers, whose life and death by an assassin’s bullet inspired President John F. Kennedy to push Congress for the passage of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
At History.com, you will find information on other notable African-Americans, including:
- Thurgood Marshall who was the first African-American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court and served from 1967 to 1991.
- Inventor George Washington Carver whose research into the humble peanut resulted in 300 derivative products from coffee to cosmetics.
- Shirley Chishom, the first African-American woman elected to the House of Representatives and who, in 1972, became the first major party African-American candidate and the first female candidate for president of the United States.
Not only are the accomplishments of these and other notable African-Americans significant in and of themselves, they are all the more meaningful because they represent the triumph of hope and persistence over oppression.
Your research source
You will find that Questia is a wealth of research sources on African-American history. In addition to sources on African-American culture and society, and famous African-Americans, you will find books and articles relating to the contributions of African-Americans in every part of the country and in every occupation.
Be sure to check out the Questia Topic Generator for more ideas and resources for your term papers.
African-American influence and culture
One example of the thousands of resources at Questia is the book, Peace Be Still: Modern Black America from World War II to Barack Obama, by Matthew C. Whitaker.
Organizing this history around culture, politics, and resistance, Whitaker recounts events from World War II as a galvanizing force for African American activism and the modern civil rights movement to the culmination of generations of struggle in the election of Barack Obama. This book chronicles a people fighting oppression while fashioning a dynamic culture of artistic and religious expression along with a program of educational and professional advancement.
“Inasmuch as modern American history has been greatly influenced and at times defined by the history and lives of people of African descent, this book will turn things around, casting the history of the United States in the mid-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries within the experiences of Americans of African descent,” Whitaker said.
Who is your favorite person in Black History? Tell us in the comments.