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Black History Month is held every October in Britain, and aims to:

Promote knowledge of Black History, Cultural and Heritage.
Disseminate information on positive Black contributions to British Society.
Heighten the confidence and awareness of Black people to their cultural heritage.

The origins of Black History Month go back to 1926 when Carter G Woodson, editor for thirty years of the Journal of Negro History, established African Caribbean celebrations in America. It is still celebrated there in February each year. In Britain, the BHM has now grown to over 6,000 events, and this year (2013) celebrates it's 26th Anniversary.

Black history events in Calderdale:


Black History Classes for Young People
Central library will be holding talks
The Victoria Theatre will host events
At the Halifax visitor centre, an exhibition will display a colourful array of arts and crafts
Central Library will be screening a series of films reflecting the influence black actors have had on the film industry
Black History Month Display

Dr. Charles Drew

Dr. Charles Drew (1904 - 1950) Was an American surgeon, and a pioneer in the development of blood banks. Drew showed that blood plasma lasts longer than whole blood and helped establish blood banks to serve the Allies in Europe during World War II (1939-1945).

In 1941 Drew became the first director of the American Red Cross Blood Bank, and thereafter he tried to make the public aware that blood banks do not need to be segregated by race. He practiced medicine and taught surgery throughout his career.

Dr. Drew set up and ran the blood plasma bank in the Presbyterian Hospital in New York City which served as one of the models for the widespread system of blood banks now in operation for the American Red Cross.

Colin J Dixon

Colin J. Dixon (1943 - 1993) was a rugby union and professional rugby league footballer who at representative level has played for Great Britain (RL), and Wales (RL), and at club level for Cardiff RFC (RU), Halifax RLFC and many more.

As a seventeen year old in the Cardiff RFC (RU) Youth team he was already showing something of his future potential but overlooked by Wales (RU) Youth he signed for Halifax in 1961. Initially he played as a centre, providing many tries for his wingman Johnny Freeman, but it was not until he moved to the back row of the pack in 1963 that he revealed his tremendous power.

In 1964 he was a key player in the first Halifax side to win the championship since 1907. As captain in the 1967 and 1968 seasons he led the side by example and was rewarded with his first Great Britain cap in 1968.

Elijah McCoy

Elijah McCoy(1844 - 1929) was born in Ontario, Canada, the son of former slaves who had fled from Kentucky before the U.S. Civil War. Educated in Scotland as a mechanical engineer, Elijah McCoy returned to the United States and settled in Detroit, Michigan. He began experimenting with a cup that would regulate the flow of oil onto moving parts of industrial machines.

His first invention was a lubricator for steam engines in 1872. The invention allowed machines to remain in motion to be oiled; his new oiling device revolutionized the industrial machine industry. Elijah McCoy established his own firm and was responsible for a total of 57 patents (including an ironing board and lawn sprinkler). The term "real McCoy" refers to the oiling device used for industrial machinery. His contribution to the lubricating device became so popular that people inspecting new equipment would ask is the device contained the real McCoy. This helped popularize the American expression, meaning 'the real thing'.

Garrett Morgan

Garrett Morgan (1877 - 1963) was the son of former slaves, Garrett Morgan was born in Kentucky. In 1895, Morgan moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he went to work as a repair man for a clothing manufacturer. News of his proficiency for fixing things and experimenting led to numerous job offers from various manufacturing firms in the Cleveland area.

In 1916, Garrett Morgan made national news for using his gas mask to rescue 32 men trapped during an explosion in an underground tunnel 250 feet beneath Lake Erie. Morgan and a team of volunteers donned the new "gas masks" and went to the rescue. The Morgan gas mask was later refined for use by U.S. Army during World War I. Two years later, a refined model of his early gas mask won a two international gold medals for safety.

After witnessing a collision between an automobile and a horse-drawn carriage, Garrett Morgan took his turn at inventing a traffic signal. The Morgan traffic signal was a T-shaped pole unit that featured three positions: Stop, Go and an all-directional stop position. This "third position" halted traffic in all directions to allow pedestrians to cross streets more safely.

Geoff Love

Geoff Love (1917 - 1991), Todmorden born, was a musical director, arranger, composer and one of the UK's most popular easy-listening music personalities. His father, Kid Love, was a World Champion sand dancer, and came to the UK from the USA. Geoff Love learned to play the trombone in his local brass band and made his first broadcast in 1937 on Radio Normandy. He moved to the south of England, and played with violinist Jan Ralfini's Dance Orchestra in London and with the Alan Green Band in Hastings. After six years in the army during World War II, he joined Harry Gold's Pieces Of Eight in 1946, and stayed with them until 1949, providing the vocal on their successful record, "Blue Ribbon Gal". In 1955, Love formed his own band for the television show On The Town, and soon afterwards started recording for EMI/Columbia with his Orchestra and Concert Orchestra.

Besides his own orchestral records, Love provided the accompaniment and arrangements on record, and in concert, for many popular artists such as Connie Francis, Russ Conway, Paul Robeson, Judy Garland, Frankie Vaughan, Johnny Mathis, Des O'Connor, Ken Dodd, Marlene Dietrich and Gracie Fields

Johnny Freeman

Johnny Freeman played for Halifax after they secured his services, paying £1,050 for him after one trial match in 1954

It appeared that every time Freeman got the ball he scored or at least threatened to score. Certainly the crowds began to expect miracles when he was in possession. Here was a man who could go the length of the field, who could break tackles when apparently held, who could find that extra gear, when already seemingly flat out, who could go past defenders on the inside or the outside, who would be first to any kick forward and who could pluck interception tries out of nothing. He had star quality, good looks and an effortless movement which was captivating.

A member of the Halifax Hall of Fame, Johnny still holds records for Career tries (290, 1954-67) and season tries (48, 1956-57). Johnny has also retained his ties with the club despite returning to live in South Wales, he still attends supporters' nights and re-unions
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Madame C.J. Walker

Madame C.J. Walker (birth name Sarah Breedlove 1867 - 1919) was born into a former-slave family to parents Owen and Minerva Breedlove.

Madame Walker was an entrepreneur who built her empire developing hair products for black women. When confronted with the idea that she was trying to conform black women's hair to that of whites, she stressed she was attempting to help black women take proper care of their hair and promote its growth.

She became an inspiration to many black women. Fully recognizing the power of her wealth and success she lectured to promote her business which in turn empowered other women in business. She gave lectures on black issues at conventions sponsored by powerful black institutions. She also encouraged black Americans to support the cause of World War I and worked to have black veterans granted full respect.

After the bloody East St. Louis Race Riot of 1917, Madame Walker devoted herself to having lynching made a federal crime. In 1918 she was the keynote speaker at many National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) fund raisers for the anti-lynching effort throughout the Midwest and East. She was honored later that summer by the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) and donated large sums of money to the NAACP's anti-lynching campaign and later in her life revised her will to support black schools, organizations, individuals, orphanages, retirement homes, as well as YWCAs and YMCAs.

Marcus Garvey

Marcus Garvey (1887 - 1940) was born in St Ann's Bay, Jamaica, the youngest of 11 children. He inherited a keen interest in books and made full use of the extensive family library. At the age of 14 he left school and became a printer's apprentice where he led a strike for higher wages. From 1910 to 1912, Garvey travelled in South and Central America and also visited London.

He returned to Jamaica in 1914 and founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). In 1916, Garvey moved to Harlem in New York where UNIA thrived. By now a formidable public speaker, Garvey spoke across America. He urged African-Americans to be proud of their race and return to Africa, their ancestral homeland and attracted thousands of supporters.

To provide the return to Africa that he advocated, Garvey founded the Black Star Line, to provide transportation to Africa, and the Negro Factories Corporation to encourage black economic independence. Garvey also unsuccessfully tried to persuade the government of Liberia in west Africa to grant land on which black people from America could settle.

In 1935, he moved permanently to London where he died on 10 June 1940. In 1964, his body was returned to Jamaica where he was declared the country's first national hero.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family's long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.

In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was by this time a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. In early December 1955
he was ready to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott. The boycott lasted 382 days and on December 21 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared the laws requiring segregation on buses unconstitutional, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.

In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over 2500 times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Alabama that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience, and inspiring his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", a manifesto of the Negro revolution. He planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful "march on Washington D.C." delivering his powerful
"l Have a Dream" speech infront of 250,000 people. He conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963, and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.

At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.

Paul Robeson

Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976) was an internationally renowned American basso profundo concert singer, scholar, actor of film and stage, All-American and professional athlete, writer, multi-lingual orator and lawyer who was also noted for his wide-ranging social justice activism. A forerunner of the civil rights movement, Robeson was a trade union activist, peace activist and a recipient of the Spingarn Medal and Lenin Peace Prize.

Robeson achieved worldwide fame during his life for his artistic accomplishments, and his outspoken radical beliefs which largely clashed with the colonial powers of Western Europe and the Jim Crow climate of pre-civil rights America thus becoming a prime target during the McCarthy era. Despite being one of the most internationally famous cultural figures of the first half of the 20th century, persecution by the US government and media virtually erased Robeson from mainstream culture and subsequent interpretations of American history, including civil rights and black history.

Phoenix FM is proud to present an original play for radio, documenting the moments before Paul Robeson took the stage at the Victoria Theatre in 1939 - Starring Curtis Lashley as Paul Robeson.

'Champion' Jack Dupree

'Champion' Jack Dupree (Unknown - 1992) was born William Thomas Dupree sometime between 1908 and 1910 in New Orleans. His parents were killed in a house fire that had been set by the Ku Klux Klan and Dupree was sent to the city's Colored Waifs Home for Boys, the same orphanage where a young Louis Armstrong had also been raised. He left the orphanage at the age of 14 and quickly learned the ways of the street, subsidizing his living by gambling and hustling. He was also introduced to boxing during this time in a gym located on Rampart Street. But, it was at the boys house that Dupree was first exposed to the piano by an Italian priest.

Although he kept several ties with New Orleans, racial tensions found Dupree moving North permanently around 1930, settling in a number of different cities over the years: Detroit, Indianapolis and Chicago. While in Detroit, he was introduced to boxing legend Joe Louis, who rekindled the young man's interest and helped Dupree work his way into the ring. Dupree fought in 107 bouts and won the lightweight championship in Indiana, earning him the nickname of 'Champion' Jack in the process.

He turned back to the piano in 1940. He had been supplementing his income all along by playing part-time and his talent had earned him a reputation as a boogie master in the Midwest. Dupree had also attracted the attention of the renowned Blues producer, Lester Melrose, and began to record for the Okeh label. In 1942 Dupree was drafted into the service and was sent to the Pacific front where he worked as a cook in the Navy. He was eventually captured by the Japanese and spent two years as a prisoner of war.

After the war, he moved to New York, where he once again sought a career as a musician. He found a great deal of luck there, recording for no less than 21 different labels that included Savoy, King and Atlantic. In 1958, he recorded what is considered by many to be his masterpiece, "Blues From The Gutter". Still it seemed that Dupree could not escape from the prejudice and racism anywhere he settled in the United States. Finally in late 1958, he decided to move to Europe. Over the next 32 years, he lived in Switzerland, France, England, Denmark and Germany. He also recorded a multitude of albums during this time for a long list of European labels. Among these is the outstanding live recording, "Blues at Montreaux" on Atco that also featured sax great, King Curtis.

In 1990 Champion Jack Dupree was talked into returning to the United States and his hometown to make an appearance at the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. It was his first visit to the city since 1954. Champion Jack returned to his home in Hanover, Germany, where he died from complications of cancer on January 21, 1992.

As one of the most prolific recording Bluesmen of all time, he left a large catalog of material. Champion Jack Dupree was posthumously honored by the Blues Foundation, receiving election into their Hall of Fame, along with "Blues From The Gutter" being selected as an entry as a "Classic of Blues" recording (Albums). Dupree was a fun-loving man despite the themes of his music and was known to occasionally get up and dance while introducing his numbers. He found success in a multitude of professions throughout his life: musician, boxer, cook and even as a painter towards the end. Champion Jack Dupree was certainly a renaissance man for the ages.

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks (1913 - 2005) was nationally recognized as the "mother of the modern day civil rights movement" in America. Her refusal to surrender her seat to a white male passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama on the 1st of December 1955, triggered a wave of protest after it lead to her arrest and guilty sentance in court.

On December 5th of 1955, in an act that reverberated throughout the United States, the Bus Boycott began. After 382 days the US Supreme Court found segregation unconstitutional and the boycott was ended a month later. Her quiet and courageous act changed America, its view of black people and redirected the course of history.

Berry Gordy Jr

Berry Gordy Jr (1929 - present) dropped out of school in the eleventh grade to become a professional boxer. After serving in the Army in Korea from 1951 to 1953 his love for jazz led him to open up the 3-D Record Mart - House of Jazz. By 1957, he has become a professional songwriter and had his first success with "Reet Petite," which was recorded by Detroit born artist Jackie Wilson. The next year he also wrote "Lonely Teardrops" for Wilson.

On December 12, 1959, Gordy, using an $800 loan from his family, founded an R&B label called Tamla Records and saw it grow to be the biggest independent record label in the world.

Motown (taken from Motor Town, a term given to Detroit, home of Ford and General Motors), built one of the most impressive rosters of artist in the history of pop music. Gordy put together an incredible list of artists including The Supremes, Four Tops, Martha and The Vandellas, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Jackson Five, The Marvelletes and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles.

In 1988 Berry Gordy Junior was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in the same year he sold Motown to MCA records for $61 million.

Berry Gordy Junior was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame in 1998 and in 2001 he established a relief fund for former Motown Artists, Musicians & Writers who were down on their luck. This year Motown celebrates its 51st year and Berry Gordy Jr will celebrate his 81st birthday.

Jesse Jackson

Jesse Jackson (1941 - present) is a famous Civil Rights leader, one of the greatest. He believes that African Americans should get more political power. He fought for that power by being the second black American to run for President. The first, Shirley Chisholm, ran in 1972, but was not a factor in the election. Jesse Jackson was the first African-American to be a contender in a presidential election.

Jesse Jackson was born in Greenville, South Carolina, and received a football scholarship to the University of Illinois. Shortly after he went there he transferred to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College and became active in sit-ins with other students at the college. At the time, these sit-ins would consist of a group of black people sitting down in a white-only restaurant or business, to protest being unable to eat or shop there. It was very common in the south at that time for Blacks to be kept out of many businesses like restaurants run by Whites.

1965 was a very important year for Jesse Jackson. He met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the famous Selma March, an effort to register black voters. He was made the leader of the Chicago branch of Operation Breadbasket, which was established by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1962. Operation Breadbasket was a civil rights group that tried to get more job opportunities for Blacks. He was very successful in leading that program, boycotting businesses that discriminated against Blacks, and forcing businesses to hire black workers. He was with Dr. King in Memphis, Tennessee when Dr. King was assassinated three years later.

Jesse Jackson once said, "[The world] is like a quilt; many patches many pieces; many colors; many sizes, all woven together by a common thread, all of us count and fit somewhere."

Jesse was present at the announcement and the inauguration of the first Black President of the United States, Barack Obama, weeping with joy and he called his victory a "transformational moment"

Queen Phillipa

Queen Philippa (1314 - 1369) was the daughter of William of Hainault, a lord in part of what is now Belgium. When she was nine, the King of England (Edward II) decided that he would marry his son, the future Edward III, to her, and sent one of his bishops, a Bishop Stapeldon, to look at her. He described her thus:

"The lady whom we saw has not uncomely hair, betwixt blue-black and brown. Her head is cleaned shaped; her forehead high and broad, and standing somewhat forward. Her face narrows between the eyes, and the lower part of her face is still more narrow and slender than the forehead. Her eyes are blackish brown and deep. Her nose is fairly smooth and even, save that is somewhat broad at the tip and flattened, yet it is no snub nose. Her nostrils are also broad, her mouth fairly wide. Her lips somewhat full and especially the lower lip, all her limbs are well set and unmaimed, and nought is amiss so far as a man may see. Moreover, she is brown of skin all over, and much like her father, and in all things she is pleasant enough, as it seems to us."

Four years later Prince Edward went to visit his bride-to-be and her family, and fell in love with her. She was betrothed to him and in 1327, when she was only 14, she arrived in England. The next year, when she was 15, they married and were crowned King and Queen in 1330 when she was heavily pregnant with her first child and only 17.

This first child was called Edward, like his father, but he is better known as The Black Prince. Many say that he was called this because of the colour of his armour, but there are records that show that he was called 'black' when he was very small. The French called him 'Le Noir'.

Philippa was a remarkable woman. She was very wise and was known and loved by the English for her kindliness and restraint. She would travel with her husband on his campaigns and take her children as well. When the King was abroad she ruled in his absence, thwarting a Scottish invasion and capturing their king in the process. Queen's College in Oxford University was founded under her direction by her chaplain, Robert de Eglesfield in 1341 when she was 28. She brought many artists and scholars from Hainault who contributed to English culture.

When she died, Edward never really recovered, and she was much mourned by him and the country. King Edward had a beautiful sculpture made for her tomb which you can see today at Westminster Abbey.

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875 - 1912) called himself an Anglo-African and fought against race prejudice all his short life. He incorporated black traditional music with concert music, with such compositions as African Suite, African Romances and Twenty Four Negro Melodies. The first performance of Hiawatha's Wedding Feast was described by the principal of the Royal College of Music as 'one of the most remarkable events in modern English musical history', and this work was acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic.

And yet, the works of this talented composer are now out of fashion; little of his music is available in printed form. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is today all but forgotten in the country of his birth. He was born in Holborn, London owhile his father, Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor, came from Sierra Leone to Britain in the 1860s, studied medicine, qualified as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, practised in Croydon, went back to Africa, was appointed coroner of the Gambia in 1894.

Samuel was named for the poet, and in 1890, aged 15, he entered the Royal College of Music as a violin student. The RCM principal hesitated over Coleridge-Taylor's colour before admitting him, apparently worried that the other students might object. After two years, he swapped violin studies for composition. His tutor, Charles Villiers Stanford, challenged him to write a clarinet quintet without showing the influence of his favourite composer, Brahms. Coleridge-Taylor did it, and when this early work was revived in 1973, the New York Times critic called it 'something of an eye opener, an assured piece of writing in the post-Romantic tradition, sweetly melodic.'

In 1896, he met the African American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, and set some of his poems to music (African Romances), and in 1897 the two men gave joint performances. He also met Frederick J Loudin, former director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, the choir that introduced African American spirituals to British audiences in 1873. By 1898 Elgar, then England's leading living composer was describing Coleridge-Taylor as 'far and away the cleverest fellow amongst the young men.' A few weeks later came the triumphant Hiawatha's Wedding Feast, which captivated the public, and established him as one of Britain's outstanding young composers. However, despite its enthusiastic reception, Coleridge-Taylor personally reaped very little reward for this great work. In order to live, he conducted and taught. From 1903 to his death, he was professor of composition at the Trinity College of Music in London, as well as the conductor of the Handel Society, the Rochester Choral Society, and conducted many provincial orchestras.

He visited America on several occasions, at a time when it was still extremely hard, if not impossible for talented black Americans to fulfil their cultural aspirations, and was therefore seen as a champion for their cause. He met Booker T. Washington, and President Theodore Roosevelt invited him to the White House. He was received in America much more warmly than in England, where he suffered intense racism. He was, and remained till his death, an ardent supporter of the Pan African Movement. In 1912, he contracted double pneumonia and died at the age of 37. He left two children, Hiawatha and Gwendolyn, who both had distinguished careers as conductors and composers.

Roland Hayes

Roland Hayes (1887 - 1977) a tenor, was the first African American man to win international fame as a concert performer. Hayes was born in Curryville, near Calhoun in Gordon County, on June 3, 1887, to Fanny and William Hayes, who were former slaves. When Hayes was eleven his father died, and his mother moved the family to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Roland Hayes grew up singing African American spirituals that had been passed down for generations. In Chattanooga he sang in church and on the street for pennies. A music teacher was impressed by his singing ability and offered him music lessons. Hayes wanted an education, but he had to drop out of school to help support his family and worked at many jobs. When he was twenty, Hayes entered Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, as a preparatory student, for he had less than a sixth-grade education. He hired tutors to help him catch up academically, and eventually he became a Fisk student and a member of the famous Fisk Jubilee Singers. At the same time he worked as a servant in order to support himself.

In the 1920's he performed to a full house at the Victoria Theatre here in Halifax.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama (born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office.

Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, he is the first president to have been born there. Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.

Obama was an early opponent of the George W. Bush administration's 2003 invasion of Iraq. On October 2, 2002, the day President Bush and Congress agreed on the joint resolution authorizing the Iraq War, Obama addressed the first high-profile Chicago anti-Iraq War rally, and spoke out against the war. He addressed another anti-war rally in March 2003 and told the crowd that "it's not too late" to stop the war.

On February 10, 2007, Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois. The choice of the announcement site was viewed as symbolic because it was also where Abraham Lincoln delivered his historic "House Divided" speech in 1858. Obama emphasized issues of rapidly ending the Iraq War, increasing energy independence, and providing universal health care, in a campaign that projected themes of "hope" and "change".

On November 4, Obama won the presidency with 365 electoral votes to 173 received by McCain.Obama won 52.9% of the popular vote to McCain's 45.7%. He became the first African American to be elected president. Obama delivered his victory speech before hundreds of thousands of supporters in Chicago's Grant Park.

Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.

A History of Civil Rights Movement

Roots Lecture Part 1 (30 mins)
Roots Lecture Part 2 (30 mins)
Roots Lecture Part 3 (30 mins)
Roots Lecture Part 4 (30 mins)