It's Black History Month, so we put together a list of people we should celebrate!

Every February in the United States of America, we honor Black History Month – a time dedicated to honoring the contributions of the African American community to society and remembering their history. People such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. deserve all of the recognition they get and more, but sometimes we overlook other people that deserve our attention too. I took to social media to gather a list of African Americans we should honor that you might not have heard about (but really should).  I watch social media closely and it's my job to share some of the hot topics on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other outlets that teachers, principals, students, and parents are contributing.

Inventor – Garrett Morgan:
The View posted a series of tweets about influential African Americans, including Garrett Morgan. Without Morgan, we wouldn't have the gas mask, the traffic light, and more. See The View's Twitter page for more people we should celebrate during Black History Month.

black history month garrett morgan

Author and Feminist – Alice Walker
Ms.Foundation Women honored Alice Walker, an author and a feminist who won the Pulitzer Prize for her story The Color Purple.

black history month alice walker

Congressman – Robers Smalls
Thanks to Mattie Montgomery, I learned about someone with a made-for-the-movies story, Robert Smalls. He started life as a slave and ended up a congressman. In between it seems like he kept plenty busy infiltrating the Confederate army and rescuing slaves.

black history month robert smalls

Marine Officer – Frederick C. Branch
The US Marine Recruiting account honored Frederick C. Branch, the first African American officer in the Marine Corps.

black history month frederick c branch

Singer – Beyonce
How about honoring some modern history? Beyonce recently made history by becoming the most Grammy awarded female artist in history.

black history month beyonce

These are only a few people we might not think about honoring (or even know about) during Black History Month. Please continue this list with other people you think teachers should tell their students about or check out the “Black History Month” tag on Twitter for more influential people. You'll be amazed at the people and accomplishments you learn about, but had never heard about.

Tori Pakizer is the Social Media Editor at SimpleK12.com. She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and specializes in how teachers use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media. You can follow Tori and SimpleK12 on Twitter @SimpleK12. If you have ideas for using social media in schools, please send your information or tip to editor@simplek12.com.