Top 5 Moments Of Black History In December

Credit: Dick DeMarsico/Wikimedia Commons

This post was originally published on Defender Network

By Aswad Walker

December is not only a month of holiday festivities; it’s also a time to reflect on the impactful moments that have shaped Black history. From historic achievements to cultural milestones, here are five key moments in Black December that have left a lasting imprint on communities around the world.

Rosa Parks Refuses to Give Up Her Seat (Dec. 1, 1955)

Rosa Parks, a seamstress and civil rights activist, courageously declined to surrender her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This act of defiance ignited the Montgomery Bus Boycott, an event that spurred the Civil Rights Movement. Parks’ indomitable spirit and the subsequent boycott played a pivotal role in challenging discriminatory practices, becoming an enduring symbol of courage for generations to come.

Montgomery Bus Boycott Ends (Dec. 20, 1956)

On Dec. 20, 1956, the African-American community in Montgomery, Alabama, voted unanimously to conclude the 385-day bus boycott. Triggered by Rosa Parks’ arrest on Dec. 1, 1955, this boycott was a 13-month mass protest culminating in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that segregation on public buses is unconstitutional. Led by the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. serving as its spokesperson, the boycott showcased the power of collective action in the fight against systemic injustice.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. receives Nobel Peace Prize (Dec. 10, 1964)

Dec. 10, 1964, stands as a moment of global recognition for King, who became only the second African American, following Ralph Bunche, to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Acknowledging King’s tireless efforts in advancing civil rights through nonviolent means, the Nobel Committee elevated his role as a pivotal leader in the pursuit of justice and equality.

Kwanzaa Inaugurated (Dec. 26, 1966)

Dr. Maulana Karenga introduced Kwanzaa, a week-long celebration honoring African heritage in African-American culture. Observed from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, Kwanzaa revolves around seven core principles (the Nguzo Saba): unity (Umoja), self-determination (Kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (Ujima), cooperative economics (Ujamaa), purpose (Nia), creativity (Kuumba), and faith (Imani). This celebration has become a cherished tradition, weaving cultural pride into the fabric of Black communities.

Jennifer Josephine Hosten Becomes First Black Miss World (Dec. 3, 1970)

Jennifer Hosten made history on Dec. 3, 1970, at the Miss World contest, securing the title as the first Black woman ever to be crowned since the pageant’s inception in 1951. Despite her remarkable achievement representing a smaller nation (Grenada), Hosten faced the turbulent backdrop of global political unrest, with the Vietnam War, South African apartheid, and the British feminist movement shaping the narrative of her historic win. Her triumph became a testament to the resilience and grace of Black women, setting the stage for more diverse representations in the years to come.