“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”


Black History Month

The title of this article is a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. is a powerful name in the Civil Rights movement and the fight for freedom and equality.

This movement began in 1954, and was held and led by a number of powerful people. Many of which we still know today.

Such as: Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson,  Jackie Robinson, John Lewis, Malcolm X (etc).

What about the lesser-known people?

Take Claudette Colvin as an example of this, Colvin was a bright student who earned amazing grades, she refused to give up her seat on a bus before Rosa Parks made history for it. At just 15 years old and pregnant on March 2nd, 1955.

Colvin sat down on her seat, with crossed legs as she was violently yelled at to get up to let a Caucasian person claim her spot instead. Despite their greatest efforts, Colvin did not budge.

In an interview with NPR, Colvin stated: “My head was just too full of black history. It felt like Sojourner Truth was on one side pushing me down, and Harriet Tubman was on the other side of me pushing me down. I couldn’t get up.”

Colvin was arrested for this, however, that did not stop her from doing what she did. Although Colvin hasn’t spoken up about it much since the 90’s, she has spoken up in order for her grandchildren to hear her story and know their grandmother made history.

Another example is Coretta Scott King, the wife of the amazing Martin Luther King Jr. Following King’s death, King campaigned endlessly to make Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday a national holiday.

King was also a big advocate and voice for the LGBTQ+ protests in the 1980’s and stood up for women’s rights, considering herself to be a feminist. While King has passed away she is not forgotten, like her amazing husband.

Last but not least, Maude Ballou. Ballou is an unsung hero of the Civil Rights movement. Ballou served as Martin Luther King’s  secretary from 1955 to 1960.

She organized and led many events that changed the Civil Rights movement forever. These events included: The Montgomery Bus Boycott, The publishing of King’s first book, and The Stride Towards Freedom, etc.

However, all these things led to Ballou being added to a list of Montgomery’s “Persons And Churches Most Vulnerable To Violent Attacks.” Ballou was placed at number 21.

“I was a daredevil, I guess.” She stated in The Washington Post. Like Martin and Coretta, Ballou unfortunately passed away.

However, as someone once said: “I have found you in this life and I will find you in the next life that follows this one.”

Meaning, that in the next life, Coretta, Martin, and Maude will be together again, watching down on the world admiring the progress they made together.

We often forget about the contributions made and the people who made them. For Black History Month this year, try to research someone new, find a new idol to who you aspire to be.