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.
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.
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.
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.