Updated: May 21, 2022
On February 7, 1926 famed Harvard trained historian Carter G. Woodson initiated the first celebration of Negro History Week. The case for February was made mainly due to the fact that two influential Americans that shaped black history were both born in the month of February- Abraham Lincoln (February 12th) and Frederick Douglas (February 14th). By the late 1960s, Black History Month began to replace Negro History Week as more and more Black college youths became increasingly more aware of their links with Africa.
As noted by Olinda Ricard, "Black History Month is a time to pay homage to our great ancestors, their lifelong struggles, and their influence on the liberties we have obtained." Here at Envision Coaching & Consulting LLC we are all about education, personal growth and development, self-nurturing, stress management, self-care, and self-motivation. What better way to kick off the first Sunday of Black History Month with inspirational quotes from notable Blacks across the diaspora.
Nelson Mandela (July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013)
Born Rolihlahla Mandela, Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and political figure serving as the first president of South African from 1994 to 1999.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." ~Nelson Mandela
Redd Foxx (December 9, 1922 - October 11, 1991)
Born John Elroy Sanford, Redd Foxx was an American stand-up comedian and actor. He began his career in nightclubs and became one of the first black comics to play to white audiences on the Las Vegas Strip. Most notably known for playing Fred G. Sanford on the television show Sanford and Son.
"Music played a large role in the survival of black people in America-that and a sense of humor that just couldn't be enslaved." ~Redd Fox
Madam CJ Walker (December 23, 1867 - May 25, 1919)
Born Sarah Breedlove, Madam CJ Walker was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and political and social activist. The Guinness Book of World Records lists her as the first female self-made millionaire in America. Ms. Walker made her fortune by creating cosmetics and hair care products for black women.
"Don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them." ~Madam CJ Walker
Cicely Tyson (December 19, 1924 - January 28, 2021)
Cicely Louise Tyson was an American actress whose career spanned more than seven decades. Her parents were immigrants from Nevis in the Caribbean West Indies. She began her career as a fashion model before transitioning to acting. In 1972 she played in the film Sounder for which she was nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1997. Ms. Tyson was bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2016. She was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2020.
"Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew." ~Cicely Tyson
Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014)
Born Marguerite Annie Johnson, Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. Due to a traumatic incident occurring in her childhood, she became mute for almost five years. However, with her extraordinary memory, inner reserves, and inner resolve, when Ms. Angelou began to speak, the world would go on to listen. One of her most notable works is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings which is an autobiography detailing her early years. She has also been credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years.
"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." ~Maya Angelou
Oprah Winfrey (b. January 29, 1954)
Born Orpah Gail Winfrey, Oprah is an American talk show host, television producer, actress, author, and philanthropist. Born into poverty, Oprah would go on to become one of the richest African Americans of the 20th century and for a time, was the world's only black billionaire. In 2008, she formed her own network, Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2013. Her story is still being inked in the annals of history.
"We can't become what we need to be by remaining what we are." ~Oprah Winfrey
Michael Jordan (b. February 17, 1963)
Michael Jeffrey Jordan is an American businessman and former professional basketball player. He played 15 seasons with the NBA and won six championships with the Chicago Bulls. He is the principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA and 23XI Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series. He is a two time Olympic gold medal winner (1984, 1992). He gave us the "Be Like Mike" commercials of the 1990s, the first Space Jams movie, and a signature shoe created by Nike. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 by President Barack Obama. Mr. Jordan's tale is still being written.
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." ~Michael Jordan
One of my elementary school teachers used to always repeat the famous quote to us, "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." This is one of the things that makes black history month so important. Black history is history. Studying it can also motivate us to not only learn from the past so as not to repeat the dark parts, but also inspire a new generation for new innovation. What are some of your favorite inspirational quotes? Join us in the comments below; your comment may just leave someone else inspired.
Did you know?
Black History Month of 2022 has a theme and we at Envision Coaching & Consulting couldn't be more thrilled! The Black History Month 2022 theme, “Black Health and Wellness,” will explore "the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birthworkers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora.
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