Lamar Advertising 2022 Black History Month Heroes in History

In celebration of Black History Month 2022, Lamar Advertising is honoring nine distinguished, accomplished and groundbreaking African Americans on hundreds of our digital billboards across the U.S. Throughout February, we are recognizing these Heroes in History who broke barriers and created opportunities for others.

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in economics and the first African American woman to practice law in Pennsylvania. A civil rights activist, Mossell Alexander was appointed to the President's Committee on Civil Rights established by Harry Truman in 1946 and was a founding member of the national Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Born in Philadelphia, she studied at the University of Pennsylvania where she faced numerous hardships due to her race and gender, such as poor advising, false accusations of plagiarism, and other students stealing her intellectual property. She died in November 1989. 

Margaret E. Bailey
Margaret E. Bailey was a U.S. Army Nurse Corps colonel who set many standards for African Americans, including becoming the first lieutenant colonel, the first chief nurse in a mixed, non-segregated unit, and the first full colonel in 1967. During World War II, Bailey treated German prisoners of war. In the later years of her military career, she actively worked with minority organizations and advocated to increase black participation in the Corps. After she retired from the Army, she served as a consultant to the Surgeon General in the Nixon administration, working to increase the number of minorities in the Nurse Corps. Bailey died in 2014 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Ruby Nell Bridges Hall
Ruby Nell Bridges Hall was an American civil rights activist and the first African American child to desegregate the William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana in 1960. She was one of six black children in New Orleans to pass a test determining whether she could go to the all-white school. In 2001, she was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton. Today, she chairs the Ruby Bridges Foundation, formed in 1999 to promote "the values of tolerance, respect, and appreciation of all differences.” 

George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver was the most prominent black scientist of the early 20th century and a leader in promoting environmentalism. While a professor at Tuskegee Institute, Carver developed techniques to improve soils depleted by repeated plantings of cotton to help poor farmers grow other crops, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes, as a source of food and to improve their quality of life. Carver received numerous honors for his work and was widely recognized and praised in the white community for his many achievements and talents.

Bessie Coleman
Bessie Coleman was an early aviator and the first African American woman to hold a pilot’s license. She was also the first to earn an international pilot's license. Born to a family of sharecroppers in Texas, Coleman worked in the cotton fields at a young age while also studying in a small segregated school. She went to France to attend flight school, as African Americans and women had no flight training opportunities in the U.S. In 1926, she died in a plane crash in Jacksonville.

Rudolph Fisher
Rudolph Fisher was a physician, radiologist, novelist, short story writer, dramatist, musician, and orator. Born in Washington DC, Fisher grew up in Rhode Island and graduated from Classical High School in 1915 with honors. He went on to Brown University where he studied English and biology, leading to a successful career as an innovative doctor. As an author, he examined the dynamics and relationships of black and white people living in Harlem. Fisher died at the age of 37 from abdominal cancer. 

Bernard Anthony Harris
Bernard Anthony Harris was a former astronaut who, in 1995, became the first African American to perform a spacewalk during the second of his two Space Shuttle flights. After leaving NASA in 1996, Harris continued his research and work in the space industry. He is currently CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative and President and Chief Executive Officer of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital accelerator. Harris also serves on the board of directors for commercial aerospace and weapons manufacturer Raytheon Technologies. 

Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes was a poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. Educated at Columbia University, he became a prolific writer at an early age and moved to New York City from the Midwest as a young man. He wrote plays, short stories, and published several non-fiction works. From 1942 to 1962, as the civil rights movement was gaining traction, he wrote a weekly column in a leading black newspaper, The Chicago Defender. He died in 1967 from complications of prostate cancer. 

Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison was a critically acclaimed novelist known for addressing the harsh consequences of racism in her works. Born and raised in Ohio, Morrison graduated from Howard University in 1953 and went on to earn a master's degree in American Literature from Cornell University in 1955. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. She would win both a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 and Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. In 2012, she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

Lamar Advertising 2022 Black History Month

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Source: Wikipedia