February is Black History Month: Famous African Americans from Long Island

With the arrival of February comes the arrival of Black History Month!

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With the arrival of February comes the arrival of Black History Month. A month dedicated towards commemorating, celebrating and recognizing all of the great African American people who have contributed so much to our society and way of life.

Since their first documented arrival in 1626, or perhaps earlier say some scholars, African Americans have inhabited Long Island, worked on Long Island, shaped Long Island into what it is today, and integrated their rich culture into the area's wonderful melting pot society.

Many influential African Americans, some musicians some actors, all originate from right here too, right here on Long Island. Here are some notable African Americans born on, and some who eventually came to, Long Island.

  • John Coltrane - American Jazz Saxophonist and Composer - From Huntington, NY
  • Ashanti - Singer, Songwriter, Record Producer, Dancer and Actress - From Glen Cove, NY
  • Julius Erving - American Basketball Player - From Roosevelt, NY
  • LL Cool J - American Rapper, Entrepreneur, and Actor - From Bay Shore, NY
  • Jim Brown - American Professional Football Player and Actor - From Manhasset, NY

Born Nearby:

  • Harriet Tubman - African-American Abolitionist, Humanitarian, and Union Spy - From Auburn, NY
  • Sojourner Truth - Abolitionist, Author, and Human Rights Activist - From Swartekill, NY
  • Eddie Murphy - Comedian, Actor, Writer, Singer, and Director - From Brooklyn, NY
  • Billie Holiday - Singer, Songwriter, Actress - From Harlem, NY
  • Salt-N-Pepa - American Hip Hop Trio - From Queens, NY

Don't forget to check out the many Black History Month events going on across the Island!

[Source: NYTimes]