Room for more Black history

Many of you may know Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, and Madam C.J. Walker as the African American inventors, visionaries, and leaders who played significant roles in contributing to America’s history.

Every year we embrace and learn from their advancements and accomplishments during a time when just existing as an African American was astonishing.

We all can remember the constant history lessons, plays, or black history trivia that would give shout-outs to the “greats,” as I would call them, without even a second thought.

However, many of us may not know the name Henrietta Lacks whose regenerative cells still to this day provide ways to advance in medical research. Or the name Alexander Miles who patented his invention of creating the automatic elevator doors we use to get from one floor to the next with the press of a single button.

Even Marian Anderson, the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, and Phillis Wheatley, the first enslaved West-African poet to publish a complete collection of poems. Along with many others whose names, voices, and experiences are not oft en shared compared to the ones we are taught from K-12.

I find this to be interesting but also heartbreaking. I don’t discredit or feel that the names we know should be forgotten or not talked about. Yet, I think they are just the surface of what goes deeper into understanding not just what it means to be American but to be a Black American.

I know there was more to being black than just being taken from one land to be brought to another to be enslaved, to gain freedom, then the Civil Rights Movement, for that to be the end of our story.

Our stories are still being uncovered, told, and written about to this day, including names that I hope we someday get to know without even a second thought. Always remember that there’s room for even more.