Celebrating Black History

Black individuals marching for equal rights and integrated schools, an important moment in black history

Black History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements of African Americans throughout U.S. history.

Since 1976, February has been designated as the official month of celebrating black history. We feel that black history is something that should be acknowledged and discussed year round. This blog is meant to serve as an ongoing reminder to honor the many achievements and groundbreaking inventions made by people of color in America.

Black History Month

How it started…

Historian Carter G. Woodson founded an association in 1915 dedicated to researching and promoting the accomplishments of black people. He felt that information about these achievements was not readily available to the public. In 1926, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History sponsored a Negro History Week. The second week of February was chosen as it included the birthdays of both Frederick Douglas, an abolitionist, and former U.S President Abraham Lincoln.

This inspired communities nationwide to join in and organize celebrations, clubs, performances and lectures. In 1976, U.S. President Gerald Ford decided to extend this week-long recognition to the whole month of February. Black History Month has been officially celebrated every February since. 

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

― Martin Luther King, Jr.

What it honors…

Black History Month started as a way to bring attention to the many contributions made by African Americans in the United States. It is intended to honor notable figures like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Barack Obama. However, it is also to honor all Black people that have lived throughout the many periods in U.S. history. This celebratory month is not only a part of the United States, it is also recognized in countries like Canada, United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. 

Events To Be Remembered

Important African American milestones in U.S history.

MLK marching with demonstrators, an important moment in black history

Many of the key moments in black history are based on the fight for equal rights. Even after the abolition of enslavement, sadly there was and still is systematic discrimination. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863 and systems of segregation were still used well into the 1960’s. The leaders of the civil rights movement used non-violent methods and protests which led to important events like the arrest of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. When this movement began gaining public support, legislative changes started to take place. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 are a few of these major milestones. 

Throughout U.S history, there have been several significant political milestones and events in black history. Like the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and the election of Barack Obama as President. There have also been huge moments in pop culture and the arts. In the 1920’s, the Harlem Renaissance was a pivotal movement that led to the recognition of talented black artists, writers, and academics. 

“Despite these important landmarks, the world as we know it, still has ways to go in accomplishing equality between ethnicities and sexes. Equal rights in 2023 is not yet a given for many citizens in America as well as other countries around our globe. We must continue to speak up when situations are not aligning with equality. To stand up when we hear or see something takes courage at times, however we should not tolerate anything that goes against fairness, justice and freedom. We must continue to hold our camaraderie torches high, and power through with people and in places where superiority mind-sets still exist. Educate where there is a lack of education and continue to lead the way of acceptance, where there is none.”

― Osa & Jen, CEO’s of Vibe Jewelry

Inventions That Changed Our World

From the potato chip to the traffic signal to the home security system.

Throughout Black History Month and beyond, we want to highlight both well and little-known African American inventors who have truly changed the world. Continue reading and join us in expressing gratitude for those who have worked hard to make some of our everyday lives a little better.

Madame C.J. Walker

Beauty Products

A portrait of Madame CJ Walker, an important icon in black history

The first African American woman to become a self-made millionaire after coming out with a line of hair products geared towards black hair.

George Crum

Potato Chip

A portrait of George Crum, an important icon in black history

The potato chip was said to be unintentionally created in 1853 by George Crum, a chef, when a customer sent back their fried potatoes saying they were too thick.

Garret Morgan

Traffic Light

A portrait of Garret Morgan, an important icon in black history

Patented in 1922, Morgan was the first to come up with the “caution” option on the signal, saving thousands of lives.

Shirley Jackson

MIT Doctorate

A portrait of Shirley Jackson, an important icon in black history

Being the first African American woman to earn a doctorate at MIT, Jackson is responsible for research that has led to the touch-tone phone, portable fax and caller ID.

George Washington Carver

Peanut Butter

A portrait of George Washington Carver, an important icon in black history

Carver was an agricultural chemist, and was also known to have created 518 total new products from crops like ink, soap, and flour!

Marie Van Brittan Brown

Home Security

A portrait of Marie Van Brittan Brown, an important icon in black history

Brown patented the first ever home security system in 1966 including a camera, microphone, peephole and monitor.

In Honor of Black History Month…

For the remainder of February, Vibe Jewelry will be donating 100% of ALL SALES of our staple Caribbean and J hook bracelets to My Brother’s Workshop, a non-profit organization that provides helpful programs for at-risk youth in the USVI. 

My Brothers Workshop is a USVI based organization that creates individualized programs to provide mentorship, counseling, education and more for the youth using a holistic approach.

Help through Vibe Jewelry, or check out My Brother’s Workshop and make a personal donation! From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your support in acknowledging Black History Month and for joining us in our mission of accomplishing equality for all.