Black Historical Figures Spotlight
Harriet Tubman, a woman born into slavery in 1822, was immortalized by her famous contribution to the Underground Railroad, where she smuggled countless people away from the horrors of Southern slavery into safehouses in the North. Tubman also served as a spy for the Union Army during the Civil War and went on to be a prominent activist for women’s suffrage. Harriet Tubman was simply unstoppable, a woman who didn’t let the abuse and trauma from deep and institutional racism stop her fight to contribute to a better world.
Claudette Colvin was arrested at 15 for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama 9 months before Rosa Parks did. Colvin then became a plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, a court case that challenged segregated bussing. Colvin, but a young teenager, had the bravery to challenge segregation, pioneering the Civil Rights Movement as we know it with no one behind her but her own will. She spent much of her life fighting for the recognition she deserves.
Martin Luther King Jr.:
Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most famous activists of the Civil Rights movement, becoming the face for the concept of peaceful protest at the time. King delivered his iconic “I have a dream” speech at the steps of the capitol building, and that moment remains present in US history to this day. King, during his time, was one of the most hated men in America; truly a testimony to his dedication to change that America wasn’t ready to see.
Stacy Abrams is a Georgian politician who founded Fair Fight Action, an organization that fights voter suppression. Abrams is widely accredited for boosting voter turnout in Georgia, leading to the election of Joe Biden in the 2020 election and the elections of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in January 2021, flipping the Senate from to a majority from the Democratic party. Abrams changed history with her dedication to fighting voter suppression at its root in a community whose politics are often bound to its horrifically racist history.