February is Black History month. It is a time when people (especially African-Americans) take the time to learn about the vast number of contributions that Blacks have made to the country or to the world for that matter. It is a time for everyone to learn, acknowledge, and appreciate the sacrifices and the service of these brave and highly skilled people. While Blacks made significant contributions from the moment they stepped on this soil, it has taken some time to break down barriers and have their talents and full contributions recognized. While we applaud every one, those that were the first in any field were the trailblazers who opened up the doors of possibilities for the multitudes to follow.
There are a lot of firsts to be celebrated, the first black president, Barack Obama, 2008, yay! The first U.S. Senator: Hiram Revels became Senator from Mississippi from Feb. 25, 1870, to March 4, 1871, during Reconstruction. The first U.S. Supreme Court Justice: Thurgood Marshall, 1967–1991. The first patent holder: Thomas L. Jennings, 1821, for a dry-cleaning process. The Inventor of the blood bank: Dr. Charles Drew, 1940. The first Ivy League president: Ruth Simmons, 2001, Brown University, the first Poet (published): Phillis Wheatley, 1773. and the first black Miss America: Vanessa Williams, 1984. These are just a few, of course.