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Black History Month: Heroes You May Have Not Heard Of

Updated: May 7

We all know visionaries like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks who courageously confronted segregation. There are countless unsung Black change makers who also shaped American history. 

Unsung Black American Heroes

Claudette Colvin
Claudette Colvin Pioneering Civil Rights Activist

Take Claudette Colvin, the 15-year-old who refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger nine months before Rosa Parks. She was arrested and became one of four plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle which desegregated buses in 1956. 

Then there’s James Forten, born free in 1766, he became a prosperous sailmaker and used his wealth to fund abolitionist causes. He helped finance William Lloyd Garrison’s newspaper “The Liberator” which galvanized anti-slavery sentiments. 

Or Marsha P. Johnson, a pioneering transgender activist who was vital in the Stonewall Riots, a watershed for LGBTQ rights. She co-founded the Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries providing shelter to transgender youth. 

Take Action, Learn More About Black American Heroes

Pioneering Pediatric Neurosurgeon Dr. Alexa Irene Canady
Pioneering Pediatric Neurosurgeon Dr. Alexa Irene Canady

From pioneering pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Alexa Irene Canady saving countless young lives to Judge Constance Baker Motley successfully arguing ten pivotal civil rights cases before the Supreme Court, there are many Black American heroes you might have heard of. It is never too late to learn more about them and other lesser-known Black Americans.

This Black History Month let’s celebrate these lesser-known trailblazers alongside more famous figures. Because progress isn’t defined just by iconic leaders, it’s propelled each day by ordinary people rising in extraordinary ways.

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