To celebrate Black History Month, we’ve put together a slideshow of some important people in Black History. You can learn more about them at Britannica School!
Phillis Wheatley (1753–1784)
Wheatley was kidnapped from Africa and enslaved when she was a child. She became the first Black American to write a book when her poetry was published in 1773.
Frederick Douglass (1817 or 1818–1895)
Douglass was enslaved until he escaped in 1838. He went on to write and make speeches about his experiences as an enslaved person. He worked to end slavery.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1831–1895)
Crumpler was the first Black woman doctor in the United States. She helped many Black Americans receive medical care. She also wrote a book about medicine and health care. There are no known photos of Crumpler.
Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993)
Marshall was the first Black justice (judge) on the U.S. Supreme Court, the most powerful court in the United States. He spent his career working for equal rights for Black Americans.
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. (1912–2002)
Davis was commander of a group of talented military pilots called the Tuskegee Airmen. He fought in World War II. Davis also helped desegregate the U.S. military so soldiers of all races would serve together.
Claudette Colvin (born in 1939).
In 1955, when Colvin was 15, she would not give up her bus seat to a white person. This was against the law, and Colvin was arrested. Colvin worked to change laws that allowed Black people to be treated unfairly.