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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Names You Should Know by Fran Joyce

Every February Black History Month comes and goes with shockingly little attention. A dozen or so inspirational stories are covered and we move on to the next month. Through the years, it has been my privilege to write several articles about Black History Month.

One fact always stands out – the men and women I have researched deserve more recognition than one month can offer. They are civil rights legends, innovators, entrepreneurs, inventors, physicians, gifted athletes, talented writers, poets, artists, war heroes, political leaders and social icons. Their history is a valuable part of world history and American history. 

You will be reading about the accomplishments of several of these men and women in this issue, but I wanted to give you a few more names to consider this month. Look through this list of names and see how many you recognize. If you don’t know them, it’s time to start googling. These are Americans (and a couple of Canadians) we should know. Some have pioneered medical breakthroughs which have saved our lives or the lives of our loved ones. All have faced discrimination and fought hard for their successes.

I can’t pretend to understand what these men and women have had to endure in our society, but I can celebrate their courage, perseverance, and genius. This list is by no means comprehensive, and I encourage you to do some research and add more names. Black History is part of our history.

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Photos used are in the public domain with the exception of the following photos:

Kenny Washington - By Source, Fair use, K Washington

Emmett Till - By Image Editor (14EmmettTillBefore) [<a href="">CC BY 2.0</a>], <a href="">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

Wilma Rudolph - By Lindeboom, Henk / Anefo [<a href="">CC BY-SA 3.0 nl</a>], <a href="">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

Neil DeGrasse Tyson - By Norwegian University of Science and Technology [<a href="">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>], <a href="">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

Oprah Winfrey - By [<a href="">CC BY 2.0</a>], <a href="">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

Medgar Evers - By Source, <a href="//" title="Fair use of copyrighted material in the context of Medgar Evers">Fair use</a>, <a href="">Link</a>

February in This Awful Awesome Life

Valentine's Day in Jane Austen's Emma by Orlando Bartro