Black History Month spotlight

Selma director and executive producer Ava DuVernay

Director and screenwriter Ava DuVernay was the first black woman director to be nominated for a Golden Globe for “Selma.”

It’s Black History Month. With all the controversy the historical month has caused within the last few weeks, it’s important to honor the key black figures of the past and present, especially the individuals you may have never heard of.

Henry Sampson Jr. is an African American inventor who is most notably coined for his patent of the “gamma-electric cell.” It eventually became the basis for the cellphone technology we use every single day.

Matthew Baker, in an industry predominantly segregated, emerged as the first black major comic book writer during the 1940s and 1950s. He created the popular “Phantom Lady” character sketch.

Mae Jemison is a retired astronaut and became the first black woman to reach space in 1992. Jemison holds nine honorary doctorates, dances and worked for the Peace Corps during her lifetime.

Currently, Ava DuVernay is an extremely successful director and screenwriter who rose to fame with her movie “Selma.” She was the first black woman director to be up for a Golden Globe and is in the process of creating lanes for black women in the entertainment industry.

Marley Dias who became sick of the lack of diversity in children’s books, started the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign to donate and circulate books with black girl’s as the novels. The 11-year-old is leading a revolution.

Dr. Daniel Geiter, an ex-con, recently obtained his doctorate. Now, he is planning on creating a community college, Ward College, that specifically aides ex con’s in obtaining a quality education. Talk about paying it forward.

Happy Black History Month!


Bernie Williams

Bernie Williams is a junior majoring in English with a concentration in media, cultural and rhetoric studies. She hopes to practice and master an assortment of mediums, including screenwriting, writing for the New York Times, lifestyle blogging, fiction and radio broadcasting. Bernie has a passion for creating and sharing stories. The heightened diversity of the city atmosphere surrounding UIC is perfect for her. Bernie’s side hobbies are indulging in TV shows (specifically Scandal, Girls and Law and Order: SVU), interior design and Instagram. 

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