What is Black History Month?

The Journey of Debra. L Lee as a Business Executive

Jodeana Davis

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What is Black History Month?

A lot of people around the world and in the United States believe it to just be a month for African-American people. Wrong, this month includes dedication and honor to those previously and in the present who contributed successful things to society, which created an impact for the lives and citizens around the world. Black History Month was founded in the year of 1976, by Carter G. Woodson. Carter G. Woodson, who was a historian, author, and journalist,  was one of the first of many to study African-American history. Many may question and wonder on why Woodson chose specifically the month of February. According to the Woodson museum website, it is believed that the month of February was chosen due to the reasoning that February 12th was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and February 14th was the accepted birthday for Frederick Douglass. The other believed reasoning of creating a black history month in February was because of the rights and civil laws that were passed specifically for African-Americans. These rights and civil laws included important dates such as: February 23rd, the co-founder of NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) was born; on February 3rd an amendment was passed for African-Americans to vote; and on February 1st a boycott in Greensboro of African-American College students sit in. These significant events and many more happened to be all the reasons of why we have Black History Month.

Sometime during school or in history classes, students learn about a few significant African-Americans inside of their text book. The text book recalls and tells some of their biggest achievements and accomplishments. The few that you may have possibly read about are people like Harriet Tubman, Barack Obama, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. These people are the ones included in history books, although the history books let some of other countless blacks that have had their good benefits of deeds to society go unnoticed, so here is one person worth highlighting that we might not find in our current textbooks.

Let’s talk nothing but success and positive vibes about Debra L. Lee. Lee was born on August 8, 1955 in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. Debra Lee is the youngest of three children. Her mother is Delma L. Lee, and her father is Richard M. Lee. She is currently 64 years old. She currently has two children: Ava Coleman and Quinn Coleman. Throughout majority of her life she attended James B. Dudley High School, Brown University, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, and Harvard Law School. Her career is a business executive. During her years at Brown University, she studied abroad in Southeast Asia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in Asian politics. While at Harvard University, she then earned her Master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. In the year of 1996, she became the president of Chief Operating Officer of Black Entertainment Television Holdings Incorporation. Lee’s net worth is 30 million dollars. In the year of 1981, she worked at a law firm as a regulatory lawyer. Next, in 1996, she became the president of Chief Operating Officer of Black Entertainment. In her role as president of the company BET, she led the network’s journey into a great program including memories, concerts, talk shows, and movies. Lee has been considered one of the country’s top women executives and attended on the corporate board of directors of global businesses. These business included Marriott International, Revlon, and Eastman Kodak Company. Lee has received awards such as the 2001 Woman of the Year Award from Women in Cable and Telecommunications and the 2003 Distinguished Vanguard Award for Leadership. The Distinguished Vanguard Award is a first for an African- American female executive. That is not all of Lee’s honor awards. She has received the 2005 Madame C.J. Walker Award given to her by the Ebony magazine for having the most entrepreneurial character.


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