Celebrating Pioneering Figures From History And The Present During Black History Month
As it's Black History Month this October, we're taking a look at some of the black figures throughout history - and into the present day - that are less talked about, as well as those who are proudly carrying the torch for all to see.
Mary Seacole was a nurse who lived from 1805 - 1881, and became a heroine during the Crimean War for her work on the frontline.
Mary funded her own journey to Crimea and set up the 'British Hotel' to provide a place of respite for sick and recovering soldiers, after the British War Office refused her request to be sent as an army nurse
At the time, Mary was as well-known in Britain as Florence Nightingale. Of her efforts, The Times War Correspondent, Sir William H Russell, wrote: "I trust that England will not forget one who nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them, and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead."
Today, the spirit lives on in doctors such as Doctor Emeka, who uses his TikTok platform to educate people about problems of both the medical and social.
Andrew Watson was the world's first black international footballer. He lived between 1856 and 1921, and made three appearances for the Scottish national team during a successful career.
The son of a slave-owner, Watson inherited his father's £35,000 fortune and used it to pursue his passion to play footy in Scotland.
He was often subjected to vulgar insults from other players but was known for keeping his 'gentlemanly demeanour' - and used his skills to do the talking.
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In modern times, the UK need look no further for a fine example than Manchester United and England's 22-year-old striker Marcus Rashford, now Marcus Rashford MBE.
Rashford has actively used his platform to make life better for disadvantaged children.
This year, he campaigned for free school meals for at risk children during the holidays and convinced the government to increase provision.
He said: "In England today, 45 percent of children in black and minority ethnic groups are now in poverty. This is England in 2020..."
Ruby Bridges was one of the first African-American students to desegregate a school that had previously been attended only by white kids.
She was accepted after passing entrance exams in 1960, which led to more integration in schools across the US southern states.
Bridges went on to set up the Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote 'tolerance, respect and appreciation of all differences'.
In 2020, young Isaak Miller from Hertfordshire managed to earn a place within the high-IQ group Mensa aged just four years old.
With an IQ of 154, he can write the English, Greek and Arabic alphabet.
His mum Michelle said: "People were looking at him and asking whether he was at school because they couldn't believe a child that young could read."
Perhaps he could even become the Prime Minister by the time he's old enough to vote.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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