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KD Celebrates Black History Month - Week 1

February 4, 2021

Black Americans have been making contributions to America from its inception and yet, so many are little-known. In many cases, life-changing contributions which is why we’d like to focus on presenting brief facts about some amazing figures you may not have heard about over the next few weeks.  The accomplishments these and other Black Americans achieved even with the overwhelming obstacles in their way, we hope are an inspiration to those who find themselves in a situation seemingly impossible to overcome. 

Claudette Colvin

1950s Civil Rights Movement Pioneer

Before Rosa Parks, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin, refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white person.

Most have heard about Parks and the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, but many do not know there were other women who refused to give up their seats including Colvin who did it 9 months before Parks.  In fact, Colvin was one of four women plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle – the case that successfully overturned bus segregation laws in Alabama.

More about Claudette Colvin

Hosea Lorenzo Williams (1926-2000)

American Civil Rights Leader, Activist, Ordained Minister, Businessman, Philanthropist, Scientist, Politician

“We build the path as we can, rock by rock.”

Hosea Williams was known as one of Dr. Martin Luther King’s right-hand men.  He regularly helped King motivate the public into action against social injustice and was at the forefront of many major events. Following King’s 1968 death and to commemorate King’s legacy, Williams founded the Hosea Feed the Hungry, a non-profit foundation widely known in Atlanta for providing hot meals, haircuts, clothing, and other services for the needy on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Easter Sunday.

More about Hosea Williams

Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977)

American Voting and Women’s Rights Activist, Community Organizer

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."

Fannie Lou Hamer was a powerful voice in the civil and voting rights movement.  She co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP), which challenged the local Democratic Party’s efforts to block Black participation, and she helped organize Freedom Summer which brought hundreds of college students, Black and white to help with African American voter registration in the segregated South. And later, she helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus.  Hamer was also a leader in the efforts to create more economic opportunities for African Americans.  She launched the Freedom Farm Cooperative (FFC) which bought up land that Blacks could own and farm.

More about Fannie Lou Hamer

Ella Josephine Baker (1903-1986)

American Community Organizer and Political Activist

“We who believe in freedom cannot rest.”

Inspired by the historic bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, Baker co-founded the organization In Friendship to raise money for the civil rights movement in the South. She also met with a group of Southern black ministers and helped form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) of which Martin Luther King, Jr., served as first president.  Baker served as its first director. She left the SCLC in 1960 to help student leaders of college activist groups organize the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). With her guidance, SNCC became one of the foremost advocates for human rights in the country. Her influence earned her the nickname: “Fundi,” a Swahili word meaning a person who teaches a craft to the next generation.

More about Ella Josephine Baker



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