Black History month was originally designated as just a week-long celebratory period in 1926 when the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), which was founded by Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland, sponsored national Negro History week to recognize and promote the achievements of Black Americans and people of African descent. Today, the ASNLH is known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Since 1926, the week-long celebration was adopted and celebrated in schools and communities nationwide. During the 1960’s, thanks in large measure to the Civil Rights movement, the week-long observance extended into Black History Month. In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month. Since that time, the President has designated February as Black History Month. In honor of the month-long celebration, the Spring Creek Sun has compiled a short list of African-American politicians whose work has helped shape American policies.
Barack Hussein Obama II was the 44th President of the United States, and the first and only African American to hold this position.
Hakeem Jeffries is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New York’s 8th congressional district.
Lisa Perez Jackson is an American chemical engineer who was the first African American to serve as the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 to 2013.
Yvette Diane Clarke is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives for the 9th Congressional District of New York.
Roxanne J. Persaud is a Democratic Senator for the 19th District of the New York Senate.
Shirley Chisholm first political position began in 1964 when she served in the New York State Assembly, and then four years later she was the first black woman to be elected to represent Brooklyn’s 12th Congressional district. In 1972, she made the landmark decision to be the first black woman to run for president on the Democratic ballot. Her campaign coincided with the ascendant equality movements occurring at the time.
Charles and Inez Barron are well-known East New York Democratic activists and politicians. Charles Barron represents the 60th District of the New York Assembly, and Inez Barron is the councilmember for the 42nd District of the New York City Council.
Colin Powell was the first African American appointed as the U.S. Secretary of State, and the first, and only, black person to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.