- The Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Volunteers were recruited (January 26, 1863) and became the first Black regiment recruited in the North. This was during the Civil War period where Black soldiers weren’t considered a priority. Although the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 allowed for free black men to be used as soldiers, the initiative still hadn’t been fully utilized up until this point. That still didn’t keep a healthy level of controversy from almost topping the unit, with racism being the underlying reason. The idea that these Black men would fight in a “white man’s” war was one of the driving forces that inspired these very brave soldiers.
- Bessie Coleman was born (January 26, 1893) and is the first Black American aviator in history. Despite being denied entry into several flying schools, she pursued her dreams to become a pilot. Getting away from the denial of entry based on her race, she taught herself French. This was an important part of her life, as it allowed her to move to the more tolerable France and earn her pilot’s license from the great Caudron Brother’s School of Aviation. It only took her seven months to complete this feat, and as such, she served as a good role model for Black women worldwide. She proved that if you work hard, you can get what’s rightfully yours.
- Angela Y. Davis was born (January 26, 1928) and was an extremely talented writer and influential activist. A member of the U.S. Communist party, her most well-known book is “”omen, Race & Class.” She had a penchant for connecting to both African American and women’s issues. She spent most of her life teaching and traveling the world, and she fought to prove that obtaining equal rights was possible. Her other book of note is “Are Prisons Obsolete?” which contains a lot of personal messages for the interested reader.