As we come to the end of Black History Month, let us take the time to recognize the significant contributions that African Americans have made to our nation’s history in arts, entertainment, law, politics, sports, science and medicine, and more:
Jacob Lawrence was an artist whose paintings expressed concerns for human dignity and freedom.
Cicely Tyson made history as the first African American star of a television drama, “East Side/West Side.”
Macon Boiling Allen became the first African American licensed to practice law in the United Stated in 1816.
Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
George Washington Carver was an agricultural scientist and inventor who promoted alternative crops to cotton and developed important methods to prevent soil depletion.
Daniel Hale Williams was one of the first physicians to perform open-heart surgery in the United States. He also opened Provident Hospital, the first medical facility to have an interracial staff.
This month we also honor the African American Teamsters who helped write the history of our Union, including T.A. Stowers:
T. A. Stowers was a trailblazing Black member of the Teamsters organization from Chicago. At a time when the country was steeped in racial oppression and separation, T.A. Stowers bravely fought for the inclusion of all people, regardless of race, religion, or gender, in the Teamsters Union. Stowers introduced Resolution XXIX at the Teamsters Union’s founding convention in 1903, proposing that no member of the organization should discriminate against another member on the account of race or color.
Where other unions failed to break down the color barrier, the Teamsters were one of the few Unions of the time to make no provisions excluding African Americans from the Union. The efforts of T.A. Stowers and his contemporaries helped to make the Teamsters the progressive labor organization we’re proud to be members of today.
One of our very own, T. A. Stowers, laid out a blueprint on how to fight for justice, equity, and community. Let us all celebrate his courage and commitment to equality as we celebrate the achievements of our Teamster brother.
Happy Black History Month!