Black history is American history.
Black history is American history.
Dr. King said, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there ‘is’ such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”
Black History Month reminds us of the “fierce urgency of now.” That’s always been the watchword of the National Organization for Women. As part of NOW’s core principles, we see human rights as indivisible, and we will continue to stand in solidarity and follow the lead of African Americans across the country, working together to overcome the barriers to justice and equality that have been imposed by racism.
NOW Press , email@example.com , 202-628-8669
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Central Oregon Coast NOW Meeting! Business meeting will follow talk.
Jan Meranda and Dr. Bob Zybach will give a presentation on Letitia Carson on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. at the Newport High School Boone Center.
This program is cosponsored by The Newport Public Library Foundation and the Central Oregon Coast NOW Foundation in recognition of Black History Month.
Letitia Carson, a former slave, was one of the first black women to cross the Oregon Trail in 1845, along with her white husband, David. Their daughter, Martha, was born along the way, and their son, Adam, came several years later. When David Carson died, Letitia and her children were left out of his estate settlement, and their land was taken from her by Greenberry Smith, a wealthy white landowner.
Letitia’s story is signifi cant because she fought for years to regain her property and eventually won, becoming the first black woman to make a successful homestead claim in the Pacifi c Northwest.
Zybach is a forest scientist with a Ph.D. in environmental sciences. He and Meranda, a writer and genealogist from Salem, have collaborated on researching Letitia Carson’s history for nearly 30 years.
Jane Kirkpatrick drew on their research to write her 2014 novel, “A Light in the Wilderness,” and Meranda recently published the first in her series of biographies on Carson, “Freedom’s Light: The Letitia Carson Story Begins.” Zybach’s article, “Strangely Absent from History: Carson vs. Smith, 1852-1857,” appeared in a recent issue of The Oregon State Bar Bulletin.
This program is free and open to the public. Copies of Meranda’s book will be available for purchase and signing. For more information, go online at www.newportlibrary.org or call 541-265-2153.
Jan Meranda stands at the grave of Letitia Carson, who is the subject of a presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. at the Newport High School Boone Center.•This event is in recognition of Black History Month.
Dr. Bob Zybach, along with Jan Meranda, will give a presentation on Letitia Carson, a former slave and one of the fi rst black women to cross the Oregon Trail in 1845. The talk is being held in recognition of Black History Month. (Courtesy photos)
BYON 01/31/16 AT 8:09 AM
Are you ready to learn? Black History Month begins in the U.S. Monday, and the observance, celebrating African-Americans’ achievements and contributions to the country, runs throughout February. Although some chapters of the national story are famous — such as the one centered on Jackie Robinson’s debut as the first black Major League Baseball player — others are less well-known.
Here are 15 bits of information you should know about Black History Month.
1. Black History Month started in 1926. The observance was proposed by Carter Godwin Woodson, an author and historian, as Negro History Week. It expanded in the 1970s.
2. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded in 1909. It’s now considered “the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil-rights organization,” according to its website.
3. The U.S. isn’t the only country to celebrate Black History Month. Canada also observes it in February, while the U.K. recognizes it in October.
4. There are more than 45 million African-Americans living in the U.S.,according to Census Bureau data. That’s about 15 percent of the nation’s population.
5. In 2013, New York had the most African-American residents, with 3.7 million.
6. There are more than 2 million black veterans.
7. By 2060, the black population is forecast to make up almost 18 percent of the U.S. population.
9. The first black birth on record in what would become the U.S. happened in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1606. And the first African-American birth occurred in 1624, according to the African American Registry.
10. The first black NBA player was Earl Lloyd in 1950. He played for the Washington Capitols and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame more than half a century later, in 2003.
12. One out of every four cowboys in the 1800s was black, CNN reported.
13. The 114th Congress, the current one, is the most diverse ever. Forty-six House and Senate members are black, according to the Pew Research Center.
14. The first black U.S. senator was Hiram Revels in 1870. The day he officially joined Congress, “visitors in the Senate galleries burst into applause as … [he] entered the chamber to take his oath of office,” according to the Senate website.
15. President Barack Obama proclaimed February to be Black History Month Friday, writing that as the nation observes it, “we recognize these champions of justice and the sacrifices they made to bring us to this point, we honor the contributions of African-Americans since our country’s beginning, and we recommit to reaching for a day when no person is judged by anything but the content of their character.”