In honor of Black History Month, we salute those who bravely fought to make our country live up to its own ideals of justice and equality. Here are but a few of the many.
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
Though he is now rightly celebrated as the conscience of a nation, Martin Luther King Jr. was a shockingly controversial figure during his lifetime. The U.S. government — particularly J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI — harassed him cruelly and relentlessly. Today, Dr. King continues to be an inspiration to a new generation of activists — and to us all.
This black Alabaman teenager was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus months prior to Rosa Parks’s more famous act of resistance. Colvin never received as much publicity as Parks did, but she too made an indelible mark on history.
This revolutionary’s searing words continue to inspire. While he and Martin Luther King didn’t always see eye to eye on the best way to secure civil rights for African Americans, both men were towering figures in the movement.
This American titan has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for the past 30 years. He chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and, when he was just 23, he helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington. In his illuminating interview with Trevor Noah, Congressman Lewis spoke to the frightening times in which we live. The fight for civil rights continues.
Catch a collection of stand-up specials celebrating Black History Month right here.