Black History Month is a time to reflect on the past, where we've come from, and build towards the future. This month, we celebrate pioneers who paved for the way for African Americans in every aspect of life. Aside from the well-known black historical figures, there are many interesting and inspiring stories of other African Americans who have exuded black excellence in their own right. This article highlights just a few infamous HBCU alum who has made black history. Did you know that these notable figures attended HBCUs?
Althea Gibson, Florida A&M University
The first black athlete to participate in international tennis and became the first African American athlete to win a Grand Slam event, the French Open singles.
Bessie Coleman, Langston University
As the first African-American female aviator, she performed a public flight in 1922.
Briana Westry-Robinson, Southern University
The youngest African-American to serve as a judge in Alabama.
C.J. Washington, Beenie Adams, Courtney Kirkland, Southern University
These three NBA referees made history as the first group of referees to work a game that graduated from the same university. They worked the Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets game on Jan 19, 2018.
Dr. Dolores C. Shockley, Xavier University of Louisiana
The first African American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and to chair a pharmacology department at an accredited medical school in the United States.
Doug Williams, Grambling State University
The first African-American starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl (Super Bowl XXII).
Ezell Blair, Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain, & Joseph McNeil, North Carolina A&T University
After the death of Emmett Till, these four young black college freshmen staged the first sit-in at Woolworth's in Greensboro, which sparked a sit-in movement.
Lonnie Johnson, Tuskegee University
An African-American inventor and engineer with over 80 patents and is best known for inventing the Super Soaker water gun.
Every February, I strive to research and find more of the lesser-known figures who've made contributions to black history and this list incorporates some of the HBCU alum I was able to find. I encourage you to do your own research this February to educate yourself and make not just this February, but every February, an insightful one!
Lead Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons