As the month of Feb. comes to a close and Black History Month activities begin to fade from our memories, let us not forget the often hidden yet incredible contributions African Americans have made to the great American story.
Here are some missing pages of “American” history that you may or may not be familiar with. In 1850, African American mountain man, James Beckwourth, discovered the first safe winter passage through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If only the Donner Party could have had him as their guide.
During World War II, the 761st, all African American tank unit known as the “Black Panthers”, saw significant combat at the Battle of the Bulge, under the leadership of General George S. Patton. And finally, Madam C.J. Walker, established an empire in the beauty industry and became the first self-made woman millionaire in the United States.
Although, this information has somehow eluded most history books, the good news is that with the internet, we now have access to almost any topic that you can imagine. Perhaps as we become more aware of our true “American” history, we’ll have more reason to celebrate one another rather than continuing to build artificial walls that separate us.
Submitted by Morris Turner, historian and Rohnert Park resident