3 Slightly Morbid Black History Facts

3 Slightly Morbid Black History Facts

Trick or Treat! The air is crisp, leaves and falling, and Jack O'Lanterns are everywhere which means the spooky season is in full effect. With Halloween just around the corner, here are 3 Black History facts that we dug up just for you.

  1. Martin Luther King was Assassinated on Maya Angelou’s 40th birthday

    Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Maya Agnelou were influential figures during the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. They were also acquaintances. When King was assassinated on April 4th, 1968, Angelou’s 40th birthday, she was so devastated that she stopped celebrating it for many years. She sent flowers to Corretta Scott King, MLK’s widow every year to honor his passing until Coretta’s death  in 2006. 

  2. Betty Boop was based on a Black Woman

    On Halloween 2021, Chloe Bailey nearly broke the internet when she revealed her glamorous Betty Boop costume. Turns out she was paying tribute to the origin of the character, a popular 1920’s jazz singer and actress, Helen Kane. In 1932, Kane sued the cartoonist who illustrated Betty Boop for $250,000 but lost. 

  3. First Successful Open Heart Surgery was performed by a Black Doctor 

    Open heart surgery is a bloody endeavor. Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, born in 1858, studied medicine in Chicago. In 1891, he opened Provident Hsopital and Training School for Nurses, America’s first  interracial hospital and nursing school.1893, a young Chicagoan named James Cornish, was admitted to Provident Hospital  with a stab wound to the chest. Dr. Williams quickly assembled a team of 6 doctors (both Black and White ) to assist him as he opened the chest, located the wound and stitched it up. Cornished lived for more than 20 years thereafter.

There you have it. What little-known Black History  facts do you keep up your sleeve? Share them in the comments at @HBCULeggings

Bibi Mama is a first generation Beninese-American actress born and raised in Mansfield, CT. Growing up she watched her father, an English professor and author, continue the Yoruba oral tradition through storytelling, which inspired her. She earned her B.F.A. from Howard University and recently finished her MFA at the Old Globe/University of San Diego MFA Graduate Acting Program.
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