Anthony teaches us about Alan Turing and Mattie tells us about “Forbidden Heroes.” Make sure to watch both! Anthony’s presentation is followed by Mattie’s. If you are interested in learning more about our LGBTQ+ Allies group, SEAL, please contact Dr. Damico.
Alum Jalen Wells on The Relationship between Dr. King and Malcolm X
SFU alum Jalen Wells (History, class of 2018) discusses the relationship between Malcolm X and Dr. King. For CES credit, students can take the short quiz at https://forms.gle/wbH8YDe85vi3rsVm8
Dr. King’s Legacy Today with Coach T and Dr. D
Coach Eric Taylor discusses the legacy of Dr. King and how it inspired the Hike for Humanity and Coach Taylor’s Beacon of Light Initiative. For CES credit, students can take the short quiz at https://forms.gle/9XEFVwr8cT9YwWxM8
As explained in this digital U.S. history textbook, Pennsylvania was one of the “Middle Colonies.” When the English began colonizing North America, there were three regions that they colonized: New England, in the northern part of the eastern seaboard, the Southern colonies, and the so-called “Middle Colonies,” which literally were in between New England in the Southern colonies.
This is why, occasionally, Pennsylvania is still referred to as a “middle state.” For example, the body that accredits Saint Francis University and other institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, is called the “Middle States Commission on Higher Education.”
“The Middle Ground”
In 1991, historian Richard White published an important book which changed how historians thought about the history of colonial North America. The title of the book was The Middle Ground and, while the book was specifically about (as the subtitle indicates) “Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815,” White’s argument can be applied to much of North American history. He argued that interactions between Native Americans and Europeans were often shaped by “a process of mutual and creative misunderstanding.” In other words, Native peoples and Europeans, coming from very different cultures, often literally misunderstood one another – but this misunderstanding could often be creative.
This Middle Ground concept is important because it helps remind us that the history of North America is not a simplistic history of Europeans simply “colonizing” or “settling” the land in one fell swoop. Rather, for hundreds of years, from the 1600s and continuing even today, Europeans, and, later, Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans, married, befriended, co-parented, negotiated, traded, co-parented, worshipped, as well as fought with Native Americans in the lands that Native Americans themselves lived upon, considered sacred, and fought over.
PA: Middle Ground and Middle Colony
I like the concept of the Middle Ground for teaching Pennsylvania History for several reasons:
Another way in which colonial Pennsylvania was a Middle Ground was through the constant interactions between Native Americans and Europeans. Here’s a great lesson plan from ExplorePAhistory.com (a site I highly recommend!) about Mary Jemison, an English colonist who, at 16 years old, was taken captive by Shawnee and lived with Seneca people. Jemison ultimately, when given the chance, said she did not want to return to her English family and lifestyle. Why not? She had found a new life in the Middle Ground.
Middle Ground and Forming a New Nation
Sometimes we forget that it was over a decade after the U.S. declared independence from Britain (July 4, 1776) until the ratification of the U.S. Constitution (1789). This was because it took the new Americans some time to realize that the form of government initially put in place (the Articles of Confederation) was not particularly effective. Once they decided to have a meeting to discuss, why did they decide to hold this Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania? In no small part it was because Philadelphia was in between the powerful cultural center of New England and the economic powerhouse of the Southern states: the Middle Ground.
Out of the Constitutional Convention came two compromises which shaped the rest of American history. I often tell my students that it’s really important to understand that the governing document of the U.S. is itself a compromise. I think this sort of Middle Ground – the idea of coming to a compromise when we disagree – is exactly the sort of lessons that future generations need to be able to understand to keep our Republic functioning. We often see disagreements over issues that the Constitution addresses – what exactly does the Second amendment say about gun rights? What does the First Amendment say about freedom of speech – but what about when one person’s speech might endanger another? And so on. We must be able to discuss these subjects, even when we disagree – only then can we find a Middle Ground.
The first compromise was the Great Compromise, in which “big” states and “small” states each got part, but not all, of what they wanted. The larger (by population) states got a lower House of Representatives, in which representation is dependent on a state’s population,. Smaller states got the upper house of the U.S. Congress, the Senate, in which each state gets two Senators, regardless of that state’s population.
A second important compromise to come out of the Constitutional Convention was the Three Fifths Compromise. This was a compromise about how populations of states were to be counted for the purpose of deciding representation in the House of Representatives. Delegates from Southern states argued that the population of enslaved people should “count” toward their state’s total population. This argument was, of course, in complete contradiction with all of the laws about slavery that were on the books in these states – these laws held that enslaved people had no standing before the law – they could not, for example, vote, be married in the eyes of the law, serve on juries, sue, testify in court, or so on. However, the South was so economically powerful that Northern delegates ultimately had to accept this Three Fifths Compromise, which counted each slave as three fifths of a person for the purpose of determining representation in the House.
Although the Three Fifths Compromise refers to a time and subject which is particularly painful for Americans of all races to remember, I think it is important that we as teachers be able to look unflinchingly at our own past; then we can decide how to teach that past in an age appropriate way.
One way in which educators of very young students might consider teaching the history of slavery could be to teach individual stories. In the Young Readers’ edition of Never Caught, for example, historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar writes about Ona Judge, the enslaved woman who escaped from George and Martha Washington, while Washington was president, in a way that is suitable for 4th-9th graders. Philadephia was the city in which the Washingtons were living and into which Ona Judge escaped – in what ways was Philadelphia in the late 1700s a Middle Ground – between North and South, black and white, enslaved and free people?
Middle Ground in 19th and 20th Centuries
As we move into the 19th and 20th centuries in American history, we continue to see Pennsylvania serving as a Middle Ground. Its incredible diversity, in terms of race, geography, football teams (I learned early when I moved to Pennsylvania that Steelers and Eagles fans have no love lost for one another), economic industries, and so on, make Pennsylvania like a small version of the entire United States of America.
Quite often students respond best to learning about history that reflects their lives and the world they can see around them. Consider teaching about the actual ground! Students love learning about industries that their parents or grandparents might have been involved in – can you find a lesson plan or children’s book about the history of coal mining and processing, for example? Here are some ideas: “Life in a Coal Patch,” “Making a Living” about steel and other workers in Johnstown, and “Developing Transportation Technology” about the construction of railroads in western Pennsylvania.
Each of these industries – coal, steel, and railroads – brought many immigrants to western Pennsylvania – your own or your students’ ancestors may be among them. Consider how they helped shape Pennsylvania into a cultural Middle Ground.
On April 28, 1967 the world famous boxer Muhammad Ali refused to enlist in the army and go to war in Vietnam stating “I ain’t got no quarrel with those Vietcong”. He had become Islamic because of Malcolm X’s powerful movement, changing his name from Cassius Clay and was charged with 5 years for evasion and banned from the sport of boxing, meaning he had to give up his heavyweight title. He strived for a change with the treatment of his people in Louisville. He faced an all-white jury and was sentenced to the maximum and $10,000 fine, but to his community he inspired others to not go against their morals for the governments sake.
This topic is very interesting because everyone knows Muhammad Ali from his great boxing accomplishments but many don’t know about his involvement in the African American community and standing up for his beliefs. Personally I enjoy watching the sport of boxing, and anytime you talk about the sport Ali is bound to be mentioned. He had incredible heart and faith in his religion. During 1967 there was a lot of racial tension going on in Louisville where Ali stated “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?” He was from Louisville and this was also where he began his boxing career. This concept relates closely with the meaning of Black History month because he was an influential African American figure during the 60’s who wanted to bring a change and fight racism and not many people know that, so it’s important his story is shared during Black History month so his history isn’t lost.
The Tuskegee Syphilis Study is a paradigmatic example of the injustices and inequalities that African Americans have faced throughout history.
In 1932, the Public Health Service worked alongside the Tuskegee Institute to carry out an experiment called the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.” According to the Tuskegee Institute, the men were told that they were being treated for “bad blood,” a term used to describe multiple illnesses, including anemia, fatigue, and syphilis. The true intent of the experiment was to find a cure for syphilis, because there was no known cure at the time. The researchers recruited 600 men – 399 with syphilis and 201 as control subjects – and promised them free medical care, transportation to and from clinics, meals on days that they were examined, free medical exams, and burial insurance. The experiment took place in Macon County, Alabama and was predicted to last for 6 months – but it went on for forty years. Most of the participants were sharecroppers – tenant farmers who give part of each crop as rent – and had never so much as seen a doctor. The promise of free medical care and burial insurance, as well as free meals, was an opportunity that they pounced on.
Though the purpose of the study was to find a cure for syphilis, the men who had it at the beginning of the study were not informed of this – only that they had “bad blood.” When a cure for syphilis was finally found, in 1947, it was withheld from both the experimental and control groups. They did this so that they could effectively track the disease – even though the men were dying, going blind, becoming insane, and experiencing other effects of the untreated syphilis. The men were not even given all the information necessary to fully consent to the experiment. The advisory panel at the institute also found no evidence that the subjects were ever given the opportunity to leave the study.
In the 1960s, Peter Buxton, a venereal disease investigator, found out about the Tuskegee Study. He believed that it was unethical and expressed these concerns to his superiors. A committee was formed to review the study, but the study was continued. They planned to track the participants until they died and then perform autopsies on the bodies to find out the full effects of untreated syphilis.
In 1972, the story was leaked to a reporter – Jean Heller of The Associated Press. She exposed the study simultaneously in New York and Washington, informing the public that dozens of men had died, and their wives, children, and a variety of others were also infected. Many U.S. federal agencies delved deeper into the study to come to a conclusion. Though the panel concluded that the men freely agreed to participate in the study, they also stated that typical research protocols were ignored and or deeply flawed. Overall, the study was ruled ethically unjustified, and was officially declared finished a month after the ruling.
In 1973, a class-action lawsuit was filed by Attorney Fred Gray on behalf of the men in the study, as well as their wives, children, and families. It ended in a settlement that gave over nine million dollars to the men who participated in the studies.
I find this topic interesting because most people have not heard of it, or do not know much about it. It is a lesser-known study that reflects the history of healthcare ethics and the treatment of minorities. I nd healthcare ethics very interesting and am always looking to find out more about how they came about. They have become very important in our society today and their development is interesting and bewildering, considering all that it has taken to establish the rules and regulations that we have in place today.
This topic relates to Black History Month because it really exemplifies the injustice doled out to minorities in the history of our nation. It shows how the African Americans were left in the dark and completely mistreated to benefit the greater good – and even when the benefit for the greater good was found, the subjects were not included in the advancements that were made. Through the unjust declaration of this study and the class-action lawsuit that was filed, an advancement was made in the field of healthcare ethics as well as the oppression that existed against African Americans.
This study and the advancements came from it reflect upon the idea that history does not happen in a vacuum. The advancements in treatment of minorities due to this study have bled into today, causing other injustice against minorities to be abolished, and creating a more equal society for all. The healthcare ethics that evolved from this study are also in effect today. Not only for these reasons, but also this event led to many other events that foraged for equality and justice for all.
“Angela Davis must go free,” Franklin said. “Black people will be free. I’ve been locked up (for disturbing the peace in Detroit) and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace. Jail is hell to be in. I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism, but because she’s a Black woman and she wants freedom for Black people. I have the money; I got it from Black people — they’ve made me financially able to have it — and I want to use it in ways that will help our people.”
Aretha Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and civil rights activist. Growing up in a Baptist Church in Detroit Michigan wasn’t easy. Her dad was a minister at their church. Even though he was a minister he didn’t treat her mother very kindly. At the age of 18, she started her music career with Columbia Records. With her father as a civil rights activist and her music career growing fast, she used her fame and knowledge to also speak about racial equality. Franklin’s hit song “Respect” was used as an anthem for racial and gendered political movements. Using her talents to advocate equality was something she was amazing at. In 1968, Aretha Franklin sang “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” at Martin Luther King Jr’s funeral. Just like King, she was an inspiration to many.
Being a black woman in the 50’s and 60’s wasn’t any easy thing. Aretha Franklin broke boundaries and created an inspiring life for others to look up to. I believe Aretha Franklin is an important person to acknowledge during Black History Month because of her amazing spirit and inspiring goals. It’s important to have an African American women in the 50’s as a role model. She overcame discrimination from her skin color and her gender. She used her talents to make change in the world.
A strong example of Franklins commitment to the civil rights movement was when she offered to post bail for Angela Davis. Angela Davis was a revolutionary activist and scholar who was accused of assisting in a courtroom takeover which ended in four deaths. “Angela Davis must go free,” Franklin said. “Black people will be free. I’ve been locked up (for disturbing the peace in Detroit) and I know you got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace. Jail is hell to be in. I’m going to see her free if there is any justice in our courts, not because I believe in communism, but because she’s a Black woman and she wants freedom for Black people. I have the money; I got it from Black people — they’ve made me financially able to have it — and I want to use it in ways that will help our people.”
Her selfless acts to the movement shows how serious she took equality. Aretha Franklin wasn’t just a woman with a good voice. She had things to say and wanted to help. I believe she is a very important person to learn about during Black History Month.
His “theory” was that lack of proper minority representation in comic books and comic book media and took “action” by cofounding Milestone Media.
Dwayne McDuffie was born February 20, 1962, in Detroit, Michigan and was a comic book and TV show writer. After graduating from college, he moved to New York and eventually got a job at Marvel comics. He noticed a lack of black and minority characters at the time and didn’t like that most of them didn’t get to have their own books and were usually just the sidekick to white characters. In order to fix that, he and 3 other men founded Milestone Media, a comic book company that released books starting minority characters. Eventually, Milestone Media was brought by DC and that led to Dwayne being able to create and write for the TV show “Static Shock”which had Vergil Hawkins, a black teenager, as the main character. He was even able to become a writer for other popular shows like “Justice League Unlimited” and comic books like “Justice League of America”. Throughout his career, he won or was nominated for multiple writing awards for his work. He died on February 21, 2011.
I think that Dwayne McDuffie was important because of his for minority representation in comic books while also being a good writer. His “theory” was that lack of proper minority representation in comic books and comic book media and took “action” by cofounding Milestone Media. Not all of his stories were perfect, but Dwayne was a good writer and creator and didn’t limit himself to just stories starring black people. He also knew that equality is important as well and didn’t try to add an agenda where it didn’t belong. While “Static Shock” had episodes about racism and gang violence, “Ben 10” and “Justice League” had mostly white casts, but he wrote good stories for them and didn’t try to shoehorn a black character that would miraculously save the day out of nowhere.
AREG. (2011, June 20). Dwayne McDuffie, Super Hero writier. Retrieved January 26, 2020, from https://aaregistry.org/story/dwayne-mcduffie-super-hero-writier/
Comic Vine. (2019, July 3). Dwayne McDuffie (Person). Retrieved January 26, 2020, from https://comicvine.gamespot.com/dwayne-mcduffie/4040-42450/
DC Entertainment. (2020). Dwayne McDuffie. Retrieved January 26, 2020, from https://www.dccomics.com/talent/dwayne-mcduffie
Matiasevich, G. (2017, February 21). d-mcduffie-e1487430802895 [Dwayne McDuffie Photo]. Retrieved from http://www.multiversitycomics.com/longform/mcduffie-primer/
Narcisse, E. (2016, November 23). The Wife of Legendary Comics Writer Dwayne McDuffie Wants to Make Sure People Never Forget His Legacy. Retrieved January 26, 2020, from https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-wife-of-legendary-comics-writer-dwayne-mcduffie-wan-1789270102
Watchtower Database. (2019, June 26). Black Heroes Matter – Diversity in the DCAU | Watchtower Database [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYcA5hhVyUg
When I say that Malcolm X is an individual who should be taught about in Black History Month, it is not because of his achievements, or what he was trying to achieve, but rather his character development.
From a young age, Malcolm X, originally born Malcolm Little, suffered the consequences of the white dominant society. His father, Earl little, was a supporter of Black Nationalist leader Martin Garvey, and the Little family consistently received death threats forcing them to relocate two times before Malcolm was even four years old. Later in life, after the controversial death of his father, Malcolm X was sentenced to 10 years in prison. During his time in prison, Malcolm devoted himself to the Islamic religion while educating himself. The Islamic religion taught Malcom that white society systematically worked “to keep African-Americans from empowering themselves and achieving political, economic and social success.” With these teachings in mind, Malcom took on “X” as his new last name as a means of denouncing his slave name and signifying his lost cultural name.
Malcolm X then established himself as a universally renowned advocate of black rights and directly opposed white oppression, all while guiding African Americans to the Islamic faith. He lived from May 19, 1925 to February 21, 1965 and was commonly compared to his fellow advocate of Black empowerment, Martin Luther King Jr., but has since inherited controversial opinions from both foes and supporters due to his opposition to King’s harmless principles. Malcolm X’s principles and beliefs that retaliation from the black population were both inevitable and necessary to catalyze real change in the white dominant world, ultimately inspired the creation of the Black anther Party. It was through Malcolm X’s assassination that the Black Panther Party was formed, and proceeded to inherit his principles, and even engaged in multiple firefights with the police, all in protest of white oppression.
I personally always found the story of Malcolm X to be very interesting. Held within a close, if not the same regard as Martin Luther king Jr., I always felt as though King embodied the right judgment in the hearts of African Americans, while Malcolm X embodied their suppressed, vengeful hearts. During an interview I watched, Malcom X commented on the peaceful protests of King, and the accomplishments achieved by such, in a belittling way. Malcolm X quoted Wyatt Walker, King’s right-hand man, in a manner that suggested King’s accomplishments have led to the Black population being “duped” and in fact, chained even tighter. Wyatt Walker stated that “in some cases, half freedom is worse than no freedom at all” in reference to the current state of the civil rights movement in which federal laws were passed in favor of the African American. By quoting Walker in such a way, it is clear that Malcolm X believed that King’s methods of protest were far from enough for real change to occur. The extremist side of Malcolm X which I find so intriguing is revealed even further when in that same interview, he described the banding together of Black people in likeminded thinking, that when one is attacked, all are attacked, is the only way the brutality against Black people, caused by white people will come to an end. After hearing those words from Malcolm, I truly acknowledged his skill with words in which he was able to voice a threat that cannot truly be called a threat. He is also sending a message to the African American’s who were watching the interview that in order to beat their oppressors, they must band together in retribution. One thing I truly would have loved to see is Malcolm X’s reaction to the Black Panther Party inspired by his death. I would have wanted to see if he would support their practices, or regret sparking a flame that lead to violence and death on both sides.
From my experience in Black history Month in Canada, I came to realize that Malcolm X was never spoken of. If not for my parents and elder sister, I might not have known him even today. That always lead me to think if he was excluded from the Black History Month curriculum due to his practices, or if he was not to be considered a Hero or a symbolic figure in the fight for civil rights. I recall asking a teacher of mine about this, and that was the first time I heard someone refer to Malcolm X as an extremist. It was from then on that I became highly interested in his opinions, character, and boldness that lead him to speak out against white injustice in a threatening way knowing full well of all the dangers and risks that came along with doing so.
Black History Month is dedicated to celebrating not only key players in the fight for civil rights, but the bravery and perseverance of the race as a whole. However, the outstanding individuals in the civil rights movement such as King, are still analyzed and taught about because of the inspiration their stories yield. I think if that is the case, then Malcolm X should be one of those individuals. However, one could argue that his efforts amounted to nothing in the end since the religion he followed and lead people to was figure-headed by Elijah Mohammed, a liar who had sexual relations with children, and it was Martin Luther King Jr. who’s voice truly catalyzed change.
When I say that Malcolm X is an individual who should be taught about in Black History Month, it is not because of his achievements, or what he was trying to achieve, but rather his character development. Malcolm X was very unwelcoming to white people and directed his teachings and ministering exclusively to Black people. However, upon denouncing his faith and reverence to Elijah Mohammed, and visiting the Mosque himself, Malcolm X returned and began ministering to all races, and even stated that he met people with blonde hair and blue eyes that he could call brothers. This is a lesson in itself that can be taught in Black History Month as well, that Malcolm X learned not to direct his hatred towards an entire race, but towards the source of the issue. Martin Luther King already practiced this by refusing to harm his white oppressors, and who knows, maybe before his assassination, Malcolm X sympathized with King’s principles.
During the 1960s, major cities such as Boston, Kansas City, and Washington, were the homes of rising anger between the races. Discrimination, segregation, police brutality, and poverty were the inevitable realities of the ghettos within these large cities. Ghettos were public housing areas specifically created by the U.S. government to house people of the same race. African Americans were crowded into these ghettos where garbage was not collected, rental prices were higher, and disease was common. These ghettos were provoked at even the slightest instigation, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination was the biggest instigation of all. After King’s assassination, riots began to break out in about 125 cities. African Americans were extremely upset about the way they were being treated throughout the country. Instead of using peace, they turned to violence to voice their anger and frustration. The riots became so violent that the National Guard had to patrol the cities and try to stop the fights. The riots burned major American cities and caused approximately $65 million to $385 million worth of damage.
The Riots of 1968 are important because they show what life was like after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. When many people think of Black History Month they only think of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. People tend to forget about what happened after King was shot, but what happened after his assassination helped to set the stage for how racism continued and segregation both continued and eventually changed. This topic was interesting to me because I had never heard of them before, and I now know why they started. I believe that the riots happened because people around the world were tired of nothing being done to fix segregation. The riots were an ongoing event because of white racism and oppression of African Americans.
This relates greatly to Black History Month because these riots are a huge part of African American and American History. Theses riots showed how African Americans and even white people dealt with the assassination and the ongoing racism throughout the world. King wanted to use peace to protest, but after he was killed, peaceful protests and marches turned to fights, fires, and destruction. The riots symbolize the extreme anger and hate the African Americans had for the ways in which they were being forced to live. The riots allowed conservatives and officials to finally open their eyes and address laws that were an issue within America. The riots, although violent and destructive, showed people around the world that the way African Americans were being treated would not be tolerated.
The riots happened in over 100 cities and started because of many years of racial unrest. These riots happened as a result of the ongoing black and white segregation throughout America. For example, African Americans could not find jobs, lived in ghettos, and even had to go to separate schools. This continued racism triggered the mass destruction that went on in many cities throughout the country. Racism, although improved today, is still an issue within our country.
“Stallworth proved that the ideology of the Ku Klux Klan was based in nothingness.”
Ron Stallworth was the first black cop in Colorado Springs. He gained this distinction in 1972. This, however, is not his major claim to fame. While this is important as it shows the fact that Colorado was desegregating, there is one mission in his time as a police officer that is possibly the most important. 6 years after he got his chance to become a police officer, he got his big break to be an undercover detective. After becoming a detective, he found an ad for the Ku Klux Klan in the newspaper, and chose to answer it. Over the phone, he then proceeded to possibly be the first African-American to join the Ku Klux Klan. He used this as an in to keep track of the activity of the Klan in Colorado Springs, in order to prevent any future violence from the Klan. One issue was the fact that as a black man, he could not meet with the Klan in person, so he had a white officer pretend to be him. The plan worked, and the Klan was fooled. They could not figure out that he and the white officer were two different people, and Ron Stallworth was even able to meet David Duke as his bodyguard. One issue is that the real Ron and David Duke had been talking over the phone for months, and the fake Ron Stallworth would be in the same room, but Duke was none the wiser, and even let the real Ron Stallworth get a picture with him. Ron Stallworth was a great detective, and was able to put aside the obvious issues of going along with the Ku Klux Klan in order to keep the mission and protect innocent people.
I think that this story is significant, interesting, and important for black history and for Black History Month. The Ku Klux Klan have waged wars on African Americans, and for a black police officer to be able to infiltrate and fool them into thinking that he is a “White Aryan” like the rest of them is hilarious. It shows that the concept of a superior race and that you could tell what race someone is just over the phone is a farce, and has no basis on anything. By being able to engage on the phone with David Duke, and for him to not be able to tell who you are when you meet face-to-face simply because he was expecting a white person instead of a black police officer shows that Ron proved that the ideology of the Ku Klux Klan was based in nothingness.
Ron Stallworth relates to Back History Month is the struggle to be accepted and treated as a equal citizen of the United States. He had to get into the police force through a cadet program and fought through barriers to become the first African-American police officer in Colorado Springs. This also relates to Black History Month because of the reason of trying to remember what life was like before current events. Understanding the past and the situations surrounding it plays a large role in history as a whole, and specifically African American history. Understanding the time that Ron was a detective is important, and it can better show the importance of his actions and sacrifices.