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Midland University Celebrates Black History Month


Midland University students, faculty, and staff will honor the many achievements of African Americans throughout U.S. history in recognition of Black History Month this February. Several planned engagements will take place across campus, including special guest speaker, Dr. Jamie Williams, a former NFL player, among others.

Forged by an intentional focus of inclusivity, a collaborative effort of cross-departmental staff and passionate student leaders hope to educate and inspire greater awareness of the accomplishments of changemakers throughout American history.

With the highest percentage of minority students amongst Nebraska colleges at 36 percent, Midland University Warriors proudly celebrate their diversity and honor the many significant efforts of passionate African Americans who fearlessly faced adversity.

Midland University’s schedule of Black History Month icons to be recognized include the following:

Medgar Evers – Civil Rights Activist & World War II Veteran (1925-1963)
First Mississippi state field secretary for the NAACP and was assassinated in the driveway of his home on June 12, 1963.

Benjamin Banneker – Astronomer, Clockmaker, Publisher (1731-1806)
Was able to make the calculations to predict solar and lunar eclipses and to compile an ephemeris for Benjamin Banneker`s Almanac.

Edward Brooke III – Politician (1919-2015)
First African American elected to the U.S. Senate. The first black politician from Massachusetts to serve in Congress.

Phillis Wheatley – Poet (1753-1784)
One of the best-known poets in pre-19th century America. The first published African-American female poet.

Gwendolyn Brooks – Poet, Author, & Teacher (1930-2000)
First African American author to win a Pulitzer Prize for “A Street in Bronzeville”

Sojourner Truth – Activist (1797-1883)
A.K.A. Isabella Baumfree; noted speaker for both the abolitionist movement and the women`s rights movement.

Ruby Bridges – Activist (1954-Present)
Civil Rights Activist and first African-American child to desegregate New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960.

Harriet Wilson – Novelist (1825-1900)
First African American to publish a novel in North America.

Toni Morrison – Author (1931-Present)
One of the most accomplished and critically acclaimed authors in American history. Noble Prize Winner and Pulitzer Prize Winner. Notable Books: The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Song of Solomon, and Paradise

William H. Carney – Civil War Hero (1842-1908)
Sgt. Carney was the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Benjamin O. Davis Sr. – General (1877-1970)
First African-American general in the U.S. Army.

Madame C.J. Walker – Millionaire & Founder (1867-1919)
A.K.A. Sarah Breedlove; founded the Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company to sell hair care products and cosmetics. First female millionaire in U.S.

George Washington Carver – Botanist (1860-1943)
Taught former slaves farming techniques for self-sufficiency. Known for suggesting hundreds of uses for the peanut, other plants.

Eubie Blake – Composer & Musician (1883-1983)
Shuffle Along (with Noble Sissle), in 1921, was the first Broadway musical ever to be written and directed by African Americans.

Shirley Chisholm – Politician, Educator, & Author (1924-2005)
First African American woman elected to Congress.

Althea Gibson – Athlete (1927-2003)
First African American woman to compete in the World Tennis Tour. First African American to win a Grand Slam title.

Jean Baptiste Point du Sable – Pioneer, Trader, & Founder (1745-1818) 
He was a black pioneer, trader, and founder of the settlement that later became the city of Chicago.

Crispus Attucks – Solider (1723-1770)
Widely recognized as the first casualty of the American Revolution when he was shot during the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770.

Bessie Coleman – Pilot (1892-1926)
First ever Black female pilot in 1921 after saving enough money to move to France where women could attend aviation school.

Alexander Thomas Augusta – Solider & Professor of Medicine (1825-1890)
Highest ranking black officer of the Union Army. Became the first black professor of medicine in the U.S.

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