The United States is a melting pot of different cultures and February is Black History Month; the month when our nation celebrates and recognizes the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans in American history.

What we now know as Black History Month originally began in February 1926 as Negro History Week. Famed historian, educator and activist Dr. Carter G. Woodson created the week to highlight the need to counteract traditional school curriculums that often degraded and dehumanized Black Americans without recognizing their contributions to society. Woodson’s efforts were a spark igniting a call for social and political equality.

Black educators, civic organizations, fraternities and sororities, and social clubs are credited for changing the then-accepted narrative often taught about Black history. Woodson wanted to preserve and present Black history in Black Americans’ own words. In the 1960s, the term Negro was outdated and replaced by a new generation through the Civil Rights Movement. And by 1970, Black History Month had emerged and expanded a one-week celebration to the entire month of February.

Black History Month is not only an annual observance that recognizes past and present Black Americans who’ve reached significant milestones, but it is also a celebration of Black historical figures who’ve made their mark in American history.

Black History Month is a reminder to every one of the impact Black Americans contributed to this world and the achievements they’ve accomplished to pave the way for not only Black people, but all people!

So, let’s honor our Black civil rights activists, artists, athletes, authors, composers, educators, entrepreneurs, founders, inventors, musicians, physicians, sociologists, and writers who have led the way in disturbing the status quo as notably unapologetic change makers.

Here are a few inventions you probably didn’t know were created by Black inventors:

  • Automatic gear shift
  • Blood banks
  • Clothes dryer
  • Electret microphone
  • Home security system
  • Improved ironing board
  • Peanut butter
  • Super Soaker
  • Three-light traffic light
  • Tissue holder

Learn More

Click here to read about 120 things you probably didn’t know were created by Black inventors.

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Essence Hill and Gina Richardson

Essence Hill is a Sr. Marketing Production Specialist & Gina Richardson is a Sr. Financial Wellness Educator here at SAFE.