6 Important Black Figures Throughout History

October is Black History Month for several countries including the USA, Canada, and the UK. Black History Month celebrates the contribution that Black communities and individuals have made throughout history in shaping a diverse society, and contributing to our freedoms and culture.

Black people have been an intrinsic part of Britain since the Roman times, and the National Curriculum supports teaching about their contribution. Highlighting incredible Black people in our wall graphics for schools extends the teaching of important Black history from one month to all year round. This is also supported by the National Curriculum.

In this blog we are highlighting some of the most important black figures throughout history that we are proud to have featured in our wall graphics.

Mary Seacole (1805 – 1881)

Mary Seacole Visual - black history month

Born in Jamaica, Mary’s mother was a free born black woman and her father was a Scottish soldier. Mary was a nurse who is best known for her work during the Crimean War. She travelled to Russia to help the sick and wounded soldiers on the frontlines. Mary became known amongst the soldiers as “Mother Seacole”. Most of what we know about Mary has come from her autobiography.

Jesse Owens (1913 – 1980)

In 1936 Owens competed in the Olympics held in Berlin, Germany. Adolf Hitler was using the games to show the world a superior Nazi Germany where ethnic Africans were seen as inferior. Owens proved Hitler wrong by winning 4 gold medals in track and field, becoming the most successful athlete at the Games!

Kamala Harris (Born 1964)

Kamala Harris Visual - black history month

Kamala Harris is an American lawyer and politician. In 2020 Harris made history when she became the first African American, the first Asian American, and the first woman in U.S. history to be elected vice president of the United States of America.

Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005)

Rosa Parks Visual - black history month

Rosa Parks, born in Alabama, made a stand against racism in 1955 when she refused to give up her seat on a bus, breaking laws of the time. She was arrested but refused to pay a fine, arguing that the law was wrong, not her! Rosa’s actions sparked the beginning of the civil rights movement in the USA which fought for equality.

Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013)

Nelson Mandela, born in 1918, is best known for being a civil rights hero and becoming the first black President of South Africa, serving from 1994 to 1999.

Prior to serving as President of South Africa, Mandela was an activist and fought for equal rights during a time when racial inequality was at its height in South Africa. Mandela’s passion for activism even saw him serve a total of 37 years in prison after being arrested for crimes such as treason, the crime of betraying your country’s government.

During his term in office as President, Mandela’s government focused on dismantling the legacy of the apartheid and overcoming inequality by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation.

Martin Luther King Jr (1929 – 1968)

Born in 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights activist in the 1950s and 1960s. He wanted to live in a society where people’s civil rights would not be impacted by their race. Martin Luther King Jr. is most famous for advancing the civil rights movement and delivering his inspiring “I have a dream” speech in 1963.

More about Wall Graphics

At Hive Education, we design a huge variety of wall graphics for schools, academies, colleges, and universities.

Wall graphics are a fantastic way to educate people about any topic. Featuring prominent black figures in wall graphics is a fantastic way to extend the celebrations and discussions around black history during Black History Month, and throughout the school year.

Contact us to find out more about how you can use wall graphics to educate, and celebrate any part of the National Curriculum with a bespoke design.