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February 2021 Cultural Events - Black History Month

Shaheen & Gordon’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee hopes you find this information insightful and educational.

Shaheen & Gordon celebrates February cultural events


1960: Greensboro Sit-Ins

In Greensboro, North Carolina, four African American students sat down and ordered coffee at a lunch counter inside a Woolworth's store. They were refused service but did not leave. Instead, they waited all day. The scene was repeated over the next few days, with protests spreading to other southern states, resulting in the eventual arrest of over 1,600 persons for participating in sit-ins. Some were arrested and charged with trespassing, protesters launched a boycott of all segregated lunch counters until the owners caved and the original four students were finally served at the Woolworth’s lunch counter where they’d first stood their ground.


Happy Birthday, TAMMY BALDWIN!

The first openly LGBTQ+ Senator and Congressperson


1870: 15th Amendmentto the U.S. Constitution

Ratification guaranteed the right of citizens to vote, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.


Chinese New Year – The Year of The Ox

Years of the Ox include 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033. Oxen are honest and earnest. They are low key and never look for praise or to be the center of attention. This often hides their talent, but they will gain recognition through their hard work.


Happy Birthday, FREDERICK DOUGLASS (1817-1895)

An escaped slave who became a prominent activist, author, and public speaker. Douglass became a leader in the abolitionist movement and sought to end the practice of slavery even before the Civil War. His work served as an inspiration to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and his legacy lives on in his revolutionary work toward equal rights.


Happy Birthday, ANNA HOWARD SHAW (1847-1919)

Minister, physician, ardent feminist, and masterful orator, Shaw was the second woman ever to graduate from Boston University School of Theology. She went on to lead the women’s suffrage movement along with Susan B. Anthony.


Parinirvana or Nirvana Day (Buddhism)

This is a Mahayana Buddhist festival that marks the death of the Buddha. It is also known as Nirvana Day. Buddhists celebrate the death of the Buddha, because they believe that having attained Enlightenment, he achieved freedom from physical existence and its sufferings. Present day celebrations often include meditating and reading The Parinirvana Sutta which describes the Buddha's last days.


1942: Executive Order 9066

Internment of Japanese Americans began after President Franklin Roosevelt issued an Executive Order requiring those living on the Pacific coast to report for relocation. Over 110,000 persons therefore shut down their businesses, sold off their property, quit school and moved inland to the relocation centers.


1965: Assassination of Malcolm X (1925-1965)

This African American civil rights leader and prominent figure in the Nation of Islam was shot and killed while delivering a speech in a New York City ballroom. Malcom X was known for articulating concepts of Black identity, integrity, and independence in the early 1960s. Through the influence of the Nation of Islam, Malcom X helped to change the terms used to refer to African Americans from “Negro” and “coloured” to “Black” and “Afro-American.” After his assassination, the widespread distribution of his life story -The Autobiography of Malcolm X(1965) made him an ideological hero.


1922: 19th Amendmentto the U.S. Constitution

U.S. Supreme Court upholds the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees women the right to vote.