Winning Essay by Kordell H. from Arkansas attending Arkansas State University

Winning Essay by Kordell H. from Arkansas attending Arkansas State University
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Being an African-American, it is no secret that my ancestors have had a challenging past. From being shipped into America as slaves to segregation and Jim Crow Laws, chaos and struggle has been the reminder of what we know ourselves for. We try to advance ourselves, only to be burdened by discrimination and discouragement. However, it isn’t impossible to recall a few major historic moments that we can be proud of, such as: Emancipation Proclamation, Rosa Parks and the bus boycott, Martin Luther King Jr. and the coming together of races, etc. But thanks to Carter G. Woodson, the “Father of Black History,” we can now recall even more events that have happened in the past that showcase the advancement of African Americans due to the development of Black History Week; which later became Black History Month.
 
Carter G. Woodson was the second African American to receive a Doctorate degree from Harvard. The man has written several books to educate, and he himself educated, young African-Americans about the history of our people. He lobbied to have this education taught in the school systems, and (obviously) he won. Not only are we taught African-American history, but we can also major and minor in the study. Mr. Woodson is an inspiration to me because he has provided me self-empowerment. Because of him I now know that there is so much more to African-American history that reflects on our achievements that if it weren’t for Woodson colleting and educating us about our history, many things that our ancestors have done would’ve have been taken for granted. Sure, when at the time when certain events happened, the people living during that time knew what was going on, but years later, it isn’t talked about anymore. If it were not for Carter G. Woodson, I would not have known the first African-Americas to attend a segregated school were nine students of various ages from Little Rock, Arkansas; that Frederick Jones invented the air conditioning unit; O. Dorsey created the doorknob; and T.A. Carrington invented the stove. There are so many things that African-American have done for us that if we did not know they did these things for us, we would take them and the things they have done for granted. This inspires me and gives me self-empowerment because I know that there is so much I can do. There are no limits to my success. Nothing held my ancestors back from making a change or thinking they weren’t capable of creating something life changing that would be used for years to come. My ancestors did it, and so can I. Whether it’s something big or something little, what I do in my future and in my career, will be life changing, helpful and remembered. I have Carter G. Woodson to thank for this inspiration.
 
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