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For the last day of Black History month, AFGE’s WFP History blog is proud to honor one of the most influential blacks of all time, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Born January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, GA. Martin Luther King Jr. lead a very promising childhood. After skipping two grades, he left high school at the age of 15 to attend Morehouse College. He graduated Morehouse in 1948 with a BA in sociology. From there he went on the attend the Crozer Theological Seminary where he obtained his Bachelors of Divinity in 1951. He would ultimately continue his education at Boston University, receiving a PhD in Systematic Theology.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Dr. King became a Baptist minister. He used this position to rally his congregation and begin work towards the Civil Rights Movement. Using the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi as a mode, he led peaceful protests and became a leader in the local community. With the events of Rosa Parks’ bus protest, the Civil Rights movement instantly kicked into high gear and Dr. Kings prominence rose significantly.

With the help of his congregation and the backing of the SCLC, Dr. King became the leader of this soon to be monumental movement. Over the course of the movement, many events had taken place, but none more memorable than the 1963 March on Washington. An estimated 200,000 people attended the march on the National Mall in Washington, DC where Dr. King made his now iconic “I Have A Dream” speech.

Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. Since then, a federal holiday has been named in his honor, and a memorial in Washington, DC is currently being constructed.

Dr.King is by far one of the most crucial persons in the grand scheme of black liberation. We here at AFGE commend him for all his amazing work.

Today in Black History…

2/28

1704 – Elias Neau, a Frenchman, opens a school for Blacks in NYC

Today in Black History…

2/27

Marian Anderson Birthday

1872 – Charlotte Ray, 1st Black woman lawyer graduated from Howard University

Today in Black History…

2/25

1870 – Hiram Revels, is sworn in as 1st Black member of Congress (Sen-R-MS)

In the grad scheme of the labor movement, Frederick Douglass is by far one of the most important pioneers. Today, WFP History is proud to recognize his achievements.

Born a slave in February 1818, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey worked on Maryland Plantations until the age of 20. During that time, he managed to teach himself to read with the help of his owners wife. He then encouraged and secretly taught a class of 40 other slaves to read until being discovered by their owners.

After two failed attempts Douglass finally made his escape from slavery by posing as a sailor. Using rail and waterways, Douglass was able to escape from Maryland to New York in less than 24 hours. Douglass was 20 years old.

Once in New York, Douglass went on to become one of the most important abolitionists in the nation. He published an  autobiography so well written it proved him to be just as , if not more intelligent than any of his white counterparts. The attention gained from his book garnered fears that Douglass may be captured and sent back to his owner in Maryland, so Douglass took a sabbatical to Ireland where he lectured on the injustices back home. The people of Ireland and Britain were so moved by Douglass, they pooled together and officially bought his freedom, making Frederick Douglass legally a free man.

With his freedom, Douglass returned to the States where he published a number of abolitionist journals and continued to advocate for slave and woman’s rights. He gained such notoriety that he went on to confer with President Lincoln prior to the emancipation proclamation and eventually held a number of various government positions.

Frederick Douglass spent his entire life advancing the state of blacks in this nation. For that, we commend him.

Today in Black History…

2/23

1868 – W.E.B DuBois Born

1979 – Frank Peterson Jr. named the 1st Black general in the Marine Corps

Today in Black History…

2/22

1898 – Black postmaster lynched, his wife and three daughters shot in Lake City, SC