28 March 2011

Black Americans in History

When the babies are napping I sometimes search the internet, click on links, click on links from those links, and links from those links, and so on and so on and yesterday I came across this website: The Genesis Group. Right on their homepage were links to African Americans who should be included in our school's history books. The website states, "There are countless names and faces—and innumerable contributions—for us to learn about, to appreciate, and to reverence. Time and space (and, sadly, sometimes lost information) prevent us from listing all of them here. But take the time this month [Black History Month] to check out the following pages and to learn a little more about a heritage that is nothing less than profound." Then they list seven links: African-American Military Heros, Great African-American Artists, Ten African-American Inventors, African-American Inventor List, Ten Great Novels by African-Americans, Sixteen African-American Firsts, and PBS Offerings For Black History Month. Here are a few examples:
Crispus Attucks led the 1770 uprising against British troops that resulted in the Boston Massacre. It is said that he cried out, "Don't be afraid!" as he led the crowd of protesters against armed British soldiers.
Augusta Savage specialized in portraits of African American leaders—including W. E. B. Du Bois and Frederick Douglass—Savage was a dedicated arts educator as well as a sculptor. She began working with clay at age six, and received formal art training in New York City. After returning to America from several years' study in Paris, Savage opened an arts school in Harlem in 1932. Among her students were painters Jacob Lawrence and Norman Lewis. Savage campaigned for the empowerment of Black artists, petitioning the Works Progress Administration to hire them for commissions. She opened New York's first gallery devoted to African-American art in 1939.
Norbert Rillieux (1806-1894) The son of an engineer and a freed slave, American chemist and inventor Norbert Rillieux revolutionized the sugar industry by inventing a device to remove the water from the juices of sugarcane and sugar beets to produce dry sugar. Rillieux's invention enabled a purer sugar product, cost less money, and was far less dangerous to workers than previous methods.
In 1950, scholar and diplomat Ralph J. Bunche became the first African-American to win a Nobel Peace Prize. Bunche received the award for his role as the architect of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping efforts and for having negotiated the four armistice agreements that halted the Arab-Israeli War of 1948. In 1955 Bunche was named the UN's Undersecretary for Special Political Affairs; in that capacity he oversaw UN peacekeeping operations in some of the most heated conflicts around the world. United States President John F. Kennedy awarded Bunche the nation's highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, in 1963.

I am now in search of a unbiased racially diverse history book. Do you know of one?

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