Black History Month was created in celebration of two extremely influential Americans who were born within the same month- February.
The first was our late President, Abraham Lincoln. He was born on February 12, 1809. The second was a famed African-American antislavery author and antislavery activist named Frederick Douglass. He, like many African-Americans of that time period, did not know the date he was born. Frederick remembered his mother calling him “little valentine” as a child, so later in life he adopted the birth date of February 14, 1817.
Douglass was an acquaintance of Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross. He lent his support in 1882 to the Red Cross “Appeal to the American People” to raise money to assist victims of the Mississippi River floods.
Throughout our history, African Americans have contributed significantly to the success of the American Red Cross. Please assist the Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter in recognizing and celebrating the efforts of so many African Americans that have been overlooked.
To learn more about African American contributions to the Red Cross please visit the Red Cross online museum at www.redcross.org.