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Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Legend in Black History: Eugene Jacques Bullard

Eugene Jacques Bullard is the first Black-American fighter pilot in history and a national hero.

As an expat living in France he joined the French Infantry at the start of World War I. France awarded Bullard the Croix de Guerre and Medaille Militaire after being seriously wounded.

In 1916, Bullard joined the French Air Service where he trained as a gunner and a pilot. 

When American pilots volunteered to help France and formed the Lafayette Escadrille, Bullard asked to join but by the time he became a qualified pilot the infamous volunteer group were no longer accepting new recruits. As an alternative, he joined the Lafayette Flying Corps. He served the French flying units and completed 20 combat missions.

When the United States joined World War I, Bullard was the only member of the French Flying Corps who was not invited to join the US Air Service. Why? The USAS only accepted White men.

After WWI Bullard became a jazz musician in Paris and owned a nightclub which he named L’Escadrille. When the Germans invaded and conquered during World War II, L'Escadrille and Bullard became hugely popular with German officers. However, the Germans didn't know that Bullard, who spoke fluent German, was working for the Free French as a spy. He then joined a French infantry unit, but was discharged after being severely wounded.

By the end of WW2, Bullard had become a national hero in France. In 1959, the French government named him a national Chevalier. After returning to the United States his accolades went unnoticed.

In 1960, the President of France, Charles DeGaulle, paid a state visit to the U.S. and one of the first things he wanted to do was to meet Bullard. That sent the White House staff scrambling because most of them, never heard of him. They finally located him in New York City, and DeGaulle traveled there to meet him personally. At the time, Eugene Bullard was working as an elevator operator.

Shortly after Bullard met with the President DeGaulle, he passed away.

Very few Americans knew of Eugene Bullard. This is just one more legend whose story should be in the Black history books. 

Do you have a story to share about a legend in Black history person who paved the way for Black Americans? E-mail your submission to or leave your views in the comment box below.

Be sure to follow Artz of Culturez on Facebook to keep track of stories and little-known facts that may not be covered here on the blog.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Katherine Johnson: The Woman who Evolved at NASA

Black History Month continues to be educational and motivational. It's amazing what I found throughout social media feeds. I recently came across another accolade of Black American history. This time it revolves around a mathematician and her work with NASA.

(Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson)

* The following was spotted on Facebook and edited for clarity

A White man may have been the first to walk on the moon but, Katherine Johnson, a Black mathematician, got him there. 

A math genius, Johnson entered West Virginia State University, a Historically Black College, at the age 15. While there, professors at the campus competed to have the Johnson in their classes. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Henrietta Lacks: The Most Influential Person in Medicine

Thanks to social media, Black History Month has become more engaging and has uncovered stories that you probably never learned in grade school. Just last week one of my connections shared the following story about Henrietta Lacks on their timeline.  

*The following appeared on Facebook and edited for clarity

Lacks was a Black tobacco farmer from southern Virginia who was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She died in 1951 at the age of  31. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

#BHM2016: Buzz Feed History Lesson on Black Inventors

Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you didn't have potato chips to go with your favorite dip, or what PB&J sandwiches be like without the peanut butter? And you've got to admit that having an ice cream scoop makes serving the sweet cool treat a whole lot easier? Well, Buzz Feed took part in Black History Month to remind the masses about "things" that wouldn't be part of our daily lives if it weren't for Black inventors.

Take a look:

Is there a Black inventor that Buzz Feed missed? Leave your comments below or e-mail them to

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Monday, February 1, 2016

#BHM2016: Saul Williams

For the next 29 days you're going to be reminded that it's Black History Month. You will get short history lessons of Harriet Tubman on multiple social media channels, you'll see Google sharing historic facts on its Google Doodle page, and you'll probably hear an impromptu poem dedicated to a prominent Black American figure read by an up and coming poetry slam artist. 

But what about the people who are making an impact in Black American culture today? Take a look at Saul Stacey Williams - an American rapper, singer-songwriter, musician, poet, writer and actor. 

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