I have written blog posts about Facebook being dangerous.  You can read that post here.  But Facebook can be very enlightening too.  I have a friend, Ramieka, who has opened my eyes this month.  She has posted some really interesting facts about Black History that I didn't know.  I asked her if she would be a Guest Blogger and write a post about Black History.  

Unknown Facts About Black History

By: Ramieka McDonald
American history was always a favorite subject when I was in school. The tests were easy because the questions were straight from the history books. History class was always exciting during the month of February. Black History Month was a always a big deal. On every wall down every hall, there were pictures of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcom X and Rosa Parks. Along side the pictures were a brief biography of their lives. But what about the rest of our history? 

What about Thomas "BLIND TOM" Wiggins (1849-1908) -- One of the 19th century’s most extraordinary performers, who was a blind autistic pianist. He was a genius at his craft. Vicente Guerrero, Mexico’s first black president. Mary Fields, also known as Stagecoach Mary, who was the first African-"Stagecoach" American woman employed as a mail carrier in the United States and just the second American woman to work for the United States Postal Service.

Cathay Williams, first black female to enlist in the U.S. Army and only female Buffalo soldier. On Nov. 15, 1866, Cathay Williams enlisted in the Army using the name William Cathay. She informed her recruiting officer that she was a 22-year-old cook. He described her as 5' 9", with black eyes, black hair and black complexion. She was assigned to the 38th U.S. Infantry. No one discovered she was a female. Cathay Williams was born into slavery in Independence Missouri in 1842". Now that was not only brave, but dangerous as well.

How about Mr. E. Matzelinger, who invented the first ever shoe making machine. It could make up to 700 hundred pairs of shoes in a ten hour work day. Humans could only make 50. He first used cigar boxes and metal scraps to create his machine, but everyone always laughed at his idea. When it did work everyone wanted to buy the machine from him. At first he said no, only to discover that later he changed his mind. Finally in 1883 he got a patent to build his machine. 

Who would have known that Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman (January 26, 1892 – April 30, 1926) would be the first female pilot of African American descent and the first person of African American descent to hold an international pilot license. Truly amazing! 

Last but not least, Mr. Bass Reeves, born to slave parents in 1838 in Paris, Texas, was the first black U.S. Deputy Marshal west of the Mississippi River and one of the greatest frontier heroes in our nation’s history. Now I was not taught this in school. This great part of American history was kept out of the history books. I guess we'll never know why it was. But we can inform the next generations with the true facts about Black History because they will not be taught the whole history as well. It is up to us as parents to teach our children. 

It doesn't matter what culture or nationality you are. As parents, we hold the true facts about history now. Knowledge is the key to rebuilding generations!


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