Black History Month, or African-American History Month, is celebrated every February. During Black History Month, people remember the important people and events in the lives of African-Americans.
Being that it is Black History Month, I wanted to take a look at a few African-Americans who have changed the course of history.
Leadership Lessons From Black History Month
Be An Advocate
Isabella Baumfree, better known as Sojourner Truth, was born into slavery. In 1826, Sojourner escaped from her owner with her daughter Sophia. On July 4th, 1827 New York emancipated all slaves in the state.
Throughout her life, Sojourner fought for the rights of others. She advocated for the rights of other slaves, women, and prison reform until her death.
Great leaders advocate the advancement of others. They look and see what’s wrong in the world and then fight to change it.
Look for new solutions
George Washington Carver is best known for the techniques he developed to help improve soils depleted by repeated farming. He encouraged farmers to plant peanuts one year and then cotton the next. On a rotating schedule, the peanut crops would help replenish the nutrients the cotton crops would absorb.
Because of the work George Washington Carver did, he was able to help farmers continue to harvest crops.
Great leaders look for new solutions. What is one problem you need to look at with new eyes? Attack it with a renewed passion and find a new solution to your problem.
Be the first
Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American to serve on the US Supreme Court. He took bold action and held a position of power no African-American before him had held.
Great leaders go first. They don’t wait for others to lead the way. They lead the way.
Create great works
The amount of inspiring art African-Americans have created is staggering. From the musical talents of Ella Fitzgerald and Muddy Waters to the writings of James Baldwin, they put epic work into the world.
Great leaders do the same. They create great works. Whether their work is building a profit-producing business or helping others, great leaders create great work.
Collin Powell was angry when the French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin attacked the United States position leading up to the Iraq War. But he had a choice.
He could stay mad at the French Foreign Minister or he could move forward with the mission. He chose to move forward.
Great leaders may get angry. They don’t stay angry. They move forward and towards the goal.
Leadership Quotes From Black History Month
Nobody’s as powerful as we make them out to be.
Susan L. Taylor
Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.
Dr. Mae Jemison
Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.
If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life
Booker T. Washington
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.