Black History

Barack Hussein Obama by Pierre Michel Borero

Obama was born on August 4, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He became the first president of the United States, to have been born in Honolulu. From age six to ten Obama attended local school in Jakarta, including Besuki Public School and St Francis of Assisi School.

In 1971, He went to a private College preparatory School from fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979. He decided as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2002. From 1994 to 2002, Obama served on the boards of director of the woods fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the developing Communities Project.

Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996 Succeeding State Senator Alice Palmer as Senator from Illinois 13th District. Obama was reelected to the Illinois Senate in 1998 defeating Republican Yesse Yehudah in the general election. Obama was an early opponent of the George W. Bush administrations 2003 invasion of Iraq. Obama won in an unexpected landslide which overnight made him a rising star within the Democratic Party, started speculation about a presidential future.

Obama was sworn in as a senator on January 3, 2005, becoming the only Senate member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Obama announced on November 13, 2008, that he would resign his Senate seat on November 16, 2008. On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capital building in Springfield, Illinois.

On August 23, Obama announced his selection of Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his vice presidential running mate. Obama delivered his acceptance speech, not at the center where the Democratic National Convention held. During both the primary process and the general election, Obama’s campaign set numerous fundraising records, particularly in the quantity of small donations On June 19, 2008, Obama became the first major-party presidential candidate to turn down public financing in the general election since the system was created in 1976.

On November 4, Obama won the presidency with 365 electoral votes to 173 received by McCain. Obama won 52.9 percent of the popular. He became the first African American to be elected president. Obama delivered his victory speech before hundreds of thousands of supporters in Chicago’s Grant Park. 

 

Lonnie G. Johnson by Vondetta Murray

Lonnie G. Johnson was famous for inventing the Super Soaker water gun. When Johnson was still a small boy, he and his dad built a pressurized Chinaberry shooter out of bamboo shoots. At the age of 13, Johnson attached a lawnmower engine to a go-cart he built from junkyard scraps and raced it along the highway until the police pulled him over. In 1982, he accomplished building a power drencher. The power drencher was later renamed the “Super Soaker.” He made the “Super Soaker” by hooking up a model of a heat pump that used water to his sink and watched in amazement as the water shot across the room. Johnson also won many awards in his life and was inducted into Hasbro Inventor's Hall of Fame, in 2000, for the “Super Soaker” water gun; Golden Torch Award, National Society of Black Engineers, 2001.

At a young age, Johnson excelled at building. When he was a child, he tore up his baby sister’s doll to see what made the eyes close. He always dreamed of becoming a famous inventor. When he was young he once tried to make rocket fuel, but almost blew up the house in the process.

Lonnie G. Johnson had the honor of creating his own company due to the success of the Super Soaker. He created Johnson Research & Development. Johnson also was in the air force. He joined after getting his masters degree and was assigned to the Strategic Air Command group for which he helped develop the stealth bomber program. Since then, Lonnie Johnson has won numerous honors for his success in inventing and entrepreneurship, and his constant encouragement of young people to invent.

Lonnie G. Johnson invented the “Super Soaker.” For years, Lonnie G. Johnson has been inventing thermodynamics systems for NASA. Lonnie G. Johnson invented the Automatic Pressurized Fluid Gun. He also invented the Electrochemical Conversion System. Another one of his inventions was the Automatic Sprinkler Control.

One obstacle that stood in front of Lonnie G. Johnson is that he grew up in the times of segregation. He was in the last graduated class of Williamson High School which was segregated. Another obstacle was that not all of his inventions worked. The last obstacle that stood in his way was that he was a black man that was successful, so he had a lot of racism.

 

Madam C.J. Walker by Madjah Denis

Sarah Walker Breedlove was born in Delta Louisiana in 1867. She was very poor because her parents were slaves, but in her family Sarah was the first to born when the Emancipation proclamation was signed.  When her parents die, she was only 8 years old. She didn’t have much education, but some women from her church help her read and write when she became older.

Sarah divorced her second husband, she moved to St. Louis to live with her brothers. In St.Louis she worked as a laundrywoman. In 1890 she was losing her hair. She ask God help her. One day she dreamed a mixture for grow her hair. She invented products to make her hair grow. The products worked so she sold them to her neighbors. Sarah invented the products to treat African-American hair and diseases of the scalp. Her business became so big that she made her own company.

In 1911 she divorced her second husband and decided to keep the name of her ex husband for her business, she became Madam C.J Walker. She stared her products with other countries like Jamaica, Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama, and Haiti. When she stared having a lot of money, she decide to help other people. She gave money for education for African-American, for school in west Africa, for the National Association of Colored People (NAACP), the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), and she bought and protected the house of Frederick Douglas. She also bought a new house for her and her daughter.

She was the first black woman that became a self-made millionaire. In May 1919 she die at Villa Lewaro at age 51 of kidney failure and hypertension because she worked too hard. In 1927 the Walker Theater for black opened who couldn’t be in the same theater with whites. She was a woman who came from the cotton of the South. From there she promoted to the washtub, the cook kitchen and then she promoted herself into the business, she built her own factory ground. Madam C.J Walker was a very important person for black people. I chose her because she was a strong woman. She gives me courage. She didn’t have anything when she stars, but she had God next to her and patience.

 

Nelson Mandela by Angela Sarpong

Nelson Mandela is the one of the world’s most revered statesmen. He led the struggle to replace the Apartheid regime of South Africa with a multi-racial democracy. He was jailed for 27 years, but he emerged to become the country’s first black president and play a leading role in the drive for peace in other spheres of conflict, he won the Noble Peace Prize in 1993, his charisma self –deprecating sense of humor and lack of bitterness over his harsh treatment as well as his amazing life story, partly explain his extraordinary global appeal.

He said ‘In prison you come face to face with time, There is nothing more terrifying” (Nelson Mandela). Since stepping down as President in 1999, Mr. Mandela has become South Africa’s highest profile ambassador, campaigning against HIV\AIDS and helping to secure his country’s right to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Mr. Mandela was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2001. However, he was still involved in peace negotiations in the Democrat Republic of Congo and other countries in Africa. In 2004, at the age 85, Mr. Mandela retired from public life to spend more time with his family and friends and engage in quiet reflection.