Black history remains critical to America

Abyana Botan
Entertainment Columnist

Sen. Barack Obama, first black president, and wife Michelle smooch at a rally on the Pennsylvania primary night with special guest performance by John Mellencamp on April 22, 2008, at Roberts Municipal Stadium in Evansville, Ind. (c) 2008. Photo by Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Black History Month is a month meant to celebrate all of the achievements of black pioneers. For the U.S.A. and Canada, Black History Month is in February, while The United Kingdom celebrates in October.

Slavery isn’t the only thing in black history that should be taught in schools. Black history is endless, and slavery isn’t all there is to us.
There are thousands of necessities that we use on a regular basis that were created by black people. It’s important to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
Everyone knows about Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama and Rosa Parks, so here are four black pioneers, musicians, etc. you may not heard of.

4) Percy Lavon Julian
Percy Lavon Julian was a pioneering chemist who took part in creating cortisone, steroids and birth control pills. Without the invention of one of the most popular contraceptives, there would be a lot of unwanted/unexpected pregnancies.
Julian founded his own laboratory in 1953, which he named Julian Laboratories. He sold the company in 1961 and was known as one of the first black millionaires.
In 1973, Julian was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He was the first black chemist to do so. In 1990, he was elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Julian died of liver cancer in 1975.

3) The Muse Brothers
George and Willie Muse were albino brothers from the South in the 1800s.
The brothers were kidnapped and then sold off to a carnival where they would live a life of performing until retiring in 1961.
Everyone who went to the circus to see the brothers were told they were descended from “a colony of sheep headed people,” according to
They would go on to perform all around the world and even for the Queen of England.
The brothers were never paid for their work and were given slave treatment.
George died in 1971, and the younger brother Willie passed away in 2001 at the age of 108.

2) Sarah Boone
Sarah Boone was one of the first black female inventors and recipients of a patent of her time in the 1860s.
Boone’s known for creating the iron board, but wasn’t given much credit in her time and isn’t recognized today.
According to, she wrote that the purpose of the ironing board was “to produce a cheap, simple, convenient and highly effective device, particularly adapted to be used in ironing the sleeves and bodies of ladies’ garments.”
It is unknown whether Boone received money from her creation, but because of the time period, I highly doubt that she was compensated.

1) Bessie Blount Griffin
According to, Bessie Blount Griffin was an inventor, physical therapist and forensic scientist.
Griffin worked with the amputees of World War II. It was caring for the hurt that led her to create a device to help them become more independent.
Griffin invented a device that allowed a tube to feed the wounded. The device delivered food through a tube to a mouthpiece that could be used whether the patient was sitting up or lying down.
In 1969, Blount started a career in forensic science with law enforcement, including departments in New Jersey and Virginia becoming and by 1972 he chief document examiner for laboratories.

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