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BISHOP McNAMARA HIGH SCHOOLA Catholic, Holy Cross, Coeducational, College Preparatory School for Grades 9-12

Black History Month


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Celebrating the Past - Looking Toward the Future

"from the ground to glory"

Bishop McNamara High School Celebrates Black History Month!

Our school has so much to celebrate. During the last week of Black History Month, our entire community joined together for our annual Black History Month Celebration. Our student performances filled our school with palpable pride. Black Excellence is thriving at Bishop McNamara High School and this year’s theme of "from the ground to glory" demonstrates the deep commitment we have to the future of every Bishop McNamara student and community member.

On Thursday, February 24, faculty, staff, and students were invited to wear their favorite African-inspired prints, wearing Dashiki or African-inspired apparel with their school uniforms to celebrate our Black History Month program in style! The program was broadcast for our entire community to enjoy on our BMHS  YouTube Channel.  Seniors enjoyed the program together in the Mona Center while all other classes watched the program with their 6th-period class.  

A video of the entire program is provided below. Enjoy!


More about those featured in our Black History Month banner

Claudette Colvin - Civil Rights Activist, Nurses Aide
Claudette Colvin - Civil Rights Activist, Nurses Aide

Few people know the story of Claudette Colvin: When she was 15, she refused to move to the back of the bus and give up her seat to a white person — nine months before Rosa Parks did the very same thing. Most people know about Parks and the Montgomery, AL, bus boycott that began in 1955, but few know that there were a number of women who refused to give up their seats on the same bus system. Colvin was the first to really challenge the law.  More about Claudette Colvin...


General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. - General USAF, Commander Tuskegee Airmen
General Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. - General USAF, Commander Tuskegee Airmen

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. was a pilot, officer, and administrator who became the first African American four star general in the U.S. Air Force. In 1943 he organized and commanded the 332nd Fighter Group (the Tuskegee Airmen).  More about Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. ...


Langston Hughes - Poet, Columnist, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist
Langston Hughes - Poet, Columnist, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist

James Mercer Langston Hughes, an American writer who was an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance and made the African American experience the subject of his writings, which ranged from poetry and plays to novels and newspaper columns. More about Langston Hughes...


Billie Holiday - Singer
Billie Holiday - Singer

Billie Holiday is considered one of the best jazz vocalists of all time, Holiday had a thriving career as a jazz singer for many years before she lost her battle with substance abuse. Also known as Lady Day, her autobiography was made into the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues. In 2000, Holiday was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. More about Billie Holiday...


Mamie Till - American Educator, Activist
Mamie Till - American Educator, Activist

Mamie Till was an American educator, activist, and the mother of Emmett Till, who was murdered in Mississippi at age 14, after being wrongfully accused of whistling at a white woman. After her son's murder she became an activist in the Civil Rights Movement.  More about Mamie Till...


Angela Davis - Activist, Scholar, Educator
Angela Davis - Activist, Scholar, Educator

Educator and activist Angela Davis (1944-) became known for her involvement in a politically charged murder case in the early 1970s. Influenced by her segregated upbringing in Birmingham, Alabama, Davis joined the Black Panthers and an all-Black branch of the Communist Party as a young woman. She became a professor at UCLA, but fell out of favor with the administration due to her ties.  For more about Angela Davis...


Mae Jemison - Astronaut, Physician, Engineer, Professor
Mae Jemison - Astronaut, Physician, Engineer, Professor

As a doctor, engineer, and NASA astronaut, Mae Jemison has always reached for the stars. In 1992, Jemison became the first African American woman to travel in space. She has also written several books and appeared on many television programs including an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. In addition to her many awards, Jemison has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame and the International Space Hall of Fame. More about Mae Jemison...


Mary Church Terrell - Civil Rights Activist, Journalist
Mary Church Terrell - Civil Rights Activist, Journalist

Mary Eliza Church Terrell was a well-known African American activist who championed racial equality and women’s suffrage in the late 19th and early 20th century. An Oberlin College graduate, Terrell was part of the rising black middle and upper class who used their position to fight racial discrimination. More about Mary Church Terrell...


Ronald McNair - Astronaut, Physicist
Ronald McNair - Astronaut, Physicist

Ronald McNair,  American physicist and astronaut who was killed in the Challenger disaster. McNair received a bachelor’s degree in physics from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, in 1971 and a doctoral degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, in 1976.  More about Ronald McNair...


Robert Sengstacke Abbott - Lawyer, Newspaper Publisher, Editor
Robert Sengstacke Abbott - Lawyer, Newspaper Publisher, Editor

Robert Sengstacke Abbott was an American lawyer, newspaper publisher and editor. Abbott founded The Chicago Defender in 1905, which grew to have the highest circulation of any black-owned newspaper in the country. An early adherent of the Baháʼí Faith in the United States, Abbott founded the Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic in August 1929. The parade, which has developed into a celebration for youth, education and African American life in Chicago, Illinois, is the second largest parade in the United States. More about Robert Abbott...


Ruby Bridges - Philanthropist, Civil Rights Activist
Ruby Bridges - Philanthropist, Civil Rights Activist

Ruby Bridges advanced the cause of civil rights in November 1960 when she became the first African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South. Ruby wrote about her early experiences in two books and received the Carter G. Woodson Book Award. A lifelong activist for racial equality, in 1999, Ruby established The Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote tolerance and create change through education. More about Ruby Bridges...


Dr. Carter Woodson - Historian, Author, Journalist
Dr. Carter Woodson, Historian, Author, Journalist

Carter Godwin Woodson was an American historian, author, journalist, and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He was a scholar whose dedication to celebrating the historic contributions of Black people led to the establishment of Black History Month. A founder of The Journal of Negro History in 1916, Woodson has been called the "father of black history".  More about Carter Godwin Woodson...


Alvin Ailey - Dancer, Chreographer
Alvin Ailey - Dancer, Chreographer

Alvin Ailey was a choreographer who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958. It was a hugely popular, multi-racial modern dance ensemble that popularized modern dance around the world thanks to extensive world tours. His most famous dance is Revelations, a celebratory study of religious spirit. Ailey received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1988. More about Alvin Ailey...


Charlotte E. Ray - Lawyer, Teacher
Charlotte E. Ray - Lawyer, Teacher

Charlotte E. Ray, married name Charlotte E. Fraim, was an American teacher and the first black female lawyer in the United States. Ray studied at the Institution for the Education of Colored Youth in Washington, D.C., and by 1869 she was teaching at Howard University. There she studied law, receiving her degree in 1872. Her admission that year to the District of Columbia bar made her the first woman admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and the first black woman certified as a lawyer in the United States.  More about Charlotte E. Ray...


Minnie Riperton - Singer, Songwriter
Minnie Riperton - Singer, Songwriter

Minnie Riperton was an American singer-songwriter best know for her 1975 single "Lovin' You" and possessed an innate coloratura soprano vocal range giving her the ability to sing in a whistle register, producing a sound almost mechanical. As a child, she studied music, drama, and dance at Chicago's Lincoln Center and was trained to become an opera singer. She sang back-up vocals for such artists as Etta James, Fontella Bass, Ramsey Lewis, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. For more about Minnie Riperton...


Bayard Rustin - Civil Rights Activist, Advisor to Dr. ML King
Bayard Rustin - Civil Rights Activist, Advisor to Dr. ML King

Bayard Rustin was an American civil-rights activist who became a close adviser to Martin Luther King, Jr., was the principal organizer of Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference. and was the chief architect of the March on Washington in 1963. More about Bayard Rustin...