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10 Black Heroes Who Usually Go Unrecognized During Black History Month, But Shouldn’t

Robert Smalls Brady Handy

Robert Smalls (April 5, 1839 – Feb. 23, 1915)

Robert Smalls was an African-American born into slavery in Beaufort, S.C., but during and after the American Civil War, he became a ship’s pilot, sea captain, and politician.

He freed himself, his crew and their families from slavery on May 13, 1862, when he led an uprising aboard a Confederate transport ship, the CSS Planter, in Charleston harbor, and sailed it north to freedom. His feat  successfully helped persuade President Abraham Lincoln to accept African-American soldiers into the Union Army.

As a politician, Smalls authored state legislation that gave South Carolina the first free and compulsory public school system in the United States.

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28 thoughts on “10 Black Heroes Who Usually Go Unrecognized During Black History Month, But Shouldn’t

  1. Unsung heroes and she-roes we should know about. Peace.

  2. Titus Taylor says:

    We learn something new every day.

  3. Larry Lemans says:


  4. Gid Freeman says:

    i should be on that list.

  5. D Oliver Martin says:

    Gid Freeman ..and your accomplishment was..??

  6. Sharif A Bey says:

    Nice post, however, Drew Ali was not so much inspired by Marcus Garvey, as he started his work 3 years prior to Garvey's arrival in the US. The truth of the matter is that Garvey's work paved the way for Drew Ali's successful momentum and growth from 1925-1929.

  7. Sharif A Bey says:

    …and as another point of correction, Drew Ali began in 1913 in Newark NJ, not 1923.

  8. Patricia B. Parker-Davis says:

    Who is James Parker?

  9. Larry Lemans says:

    Brother Parker was a black man who back in 1901 was at the TEMPLE OF MUSIC at the Buffalo NY world fair.President McKinley was there shaking hands …Parker was in the line to shake the President's hand……..the in front of him had his hand wrapped in a rag like it was hurt….when he got to McKinleyunder this rag he had a pistol…….McKinley was guared by the secret service which did not allow any black men in it….the man with the pistol shot the president who later died,,,,,Parker jumped on ythe assassin started beating him with his fist and took the gun away…………he beat him till he was pulled off……he had to go around selling his pic to make some money ..event ough he was a HERO…..I will ask President Obama to honor him..Thanks for asking………….SEECH

  10. Patricia B. Parker-Davis says:

    Larry Lemans I think I may be related to him. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Sundiata Keita says:

    great list.
    however i got a problem. we been here for thousands of years and these pink people only for 5500 years, why the f— are we celebrating our history only in this country and only let these people give us a month.
    take a look around, all you see comes from black people. it wouldnt be nothing here if we didnt build it.

  12. Larry Lemans says:

    Patricia B. Parker-Davis WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. great history channel on youtube and the google plus along with it

  14. Nancy Farm Mannikko says:

    Angelo Herndon's name should be on that list.

  15. The most important issue is that Prophet Noble Drew Ali taught our people we were not negro, black colored etc, African Moorish Science Temple of America – Temple No. 21

  16. Nia James says:

    Check your facts Noble Drew Ali was a student of Fard Muhammad, just as Elijah Muhammad was

  17. Maybe this article is devoted to American Black Heroes. Just remember "Mother Africa" Miriam Makeba who changed and fought until her death.

  18. David Lee says:

    Asa. Please stop trying to give Noble Drew Ali credi for the coming of Master Fard Muhammad. Nothing could be further from the truth. Master Fard Muhammad has NO EQUAL !!! He proved that with his student The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And now The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is backed up by them. Actual facts. ASA HE LIVES !!!

  19. What is Mather is that we have balck herios'

  20. Love the story's if these brave people. The last story of the bros being falsely accused should go into a little more detail of there innocents. I love learning about these brave and SMART people

  21. Judith Grace says:

    Spread the word!

    Google: Judi Grace StoryCorps.

  22. Let us not forget the 1st Louisiana Native Guard and other African-Americans who fought on the side of the CConfederacy. These are the "most unrecognized" during Black History Month:

  23. Salih Esa says:

    i have an asindment to find black heroes

  24. Great story he looks like David Mann

  25. George L. Jackson, tactician, political theorist, field marshall and author. Assassinated August 21, 1971.

  26. Ma'at=Truth says:

    Efunroye Tinubu sold our people into enslavement, why is she on this list? Her supposed change of heart about the ills of enslavement is unsubstantiated. Whereas, Yemitan has thoroughly documented her as an unapologetic, shrewd and rampant trader in Black Flesh. She was accused of selling a 12 year old Nigerian boy into enslavement, and justified it by saying she needed to feed her large wealthy family!

    Further, as late as 1853 (after the trade was abolished) she is quoted as having said to an Iberian trader that: “she would rather drown the slaves than sell them at a discount.”

    Source: Yemitan, Oladipo. Madame Tinubu: Merchant and King-maker. University Press, 1987.

    Shame on us for believing everything we read and hear! We must do better people, fact checking, fact checking. Not every “hero” was a Heru!

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