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5 Little-Known Black History Facts You Didn’t Learn in School – Black Girl Nerds


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5 Little-Known Black History Facts You Didn’t Learn in School – Black Girl Nerds


February marks the beginning of the celebration of Black contributions to American history. It all began from Carter G. Woodson’s “Negro History Week,” and then Black History Month was officially recognized in 1976 to uplift the “too-often neglected accomplishment of Black Americans,” as stated by President Gerald Ford. But just as long as there have been efforts to uplift Black history, there have been attempts to discredit and invalidate it as well.

So far, at least a dozen states have signed provisions into law that restrict teachings of racial justice and Black contributions to American history. Under the guise of “anti-critical race theory legislation,” lawmakers are actively working to erase Black history from the classroom and rewrite their own version of history.

As an adult, I have learned so many things about the contributions Black people have made in various areas, as well as about places that hold historical significance. It seems as though every February the exact same things are dusted off and rolled out to teach children about Black history. Here are five facts from history that are not widely taught but should not be forgotten.

Literature

Phillis Wheatley was the first Black woman to publish a book of poetry, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, in 1773. She was born in Gambia and sold to the Wheatley family in Boston when she was just eight years old. Shortly after her book was released, Wheatley was emancipated. A group of white Bostonians didn’t believe that Wheatley had the capacity or intellect to compose her poetry. In the 1960s, her work was considered controversial, more so by Black people. She seemed to speak happily about slavery and was identified as a hindrance to historical truth and to the Civil Rights Movement. One poem in particular that brought Wheatley into a negative view was in her poem On Being Brought from Africa to America. In it, she speaks of the “pagan land” of her birth and her “benighted soul” that was saved when was enslaved.  

Although she was considered controversial, her…



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