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Who should we put a spotlight on for Black History Month? We want to hear from you.

For Black History Month, we want to share stories of Black excellence in Northern California.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Beginning in February, millions of people will celebrate Black History Month by recognizing the achievements and contributions of African Americans in the United States.

Black History Month first began in 1926 as "Negro History Week." The observance was created by historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland in order to promote achievements by Black Americans and other people of African descent. For this year's celebration of Black excellence, ABC10 wants to feature stories of Black/African American people in Northern California. 

People like Sacramento native Dr. William H. Lee who's best known as the founder of The Sacramento Observer, the area's black newspaper

The son of Rev. Charles and Kathryn Lee, William grew up in the Del Paso Heights neighborhood and graduated from Grant High School. He went on to Sacramento State and then off to UC Berkeley before eventually returning home to Sacramento, where he became the first black real estate agent in the city.  

But William noticed something was missing.

"There was a voice needed to help share the stories about African Americans,” said William's son Larry. “There was nothing before that really chronicled our experience in Sacramento."

That idea gave birth to The Sacramento Observer, an immediate hit in the black community. 

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But it wasn’t just the greater Sacramento area that took notice. William and his paper were a hit across the country, too. The Observer was once named the nation’s top Black Newspaper, symbolized by receiving the John B. Russwurm trophy, given annually by the National Newspaper Publisher’s Association.

The Observer has been at the forefront of telling stories for the African American community since 1962. And although William passed away at 83 on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, his family looks forward to continuing his legacy.

We want to hear from you

For Black History Month, what Black/African American figure -- past or present -- should we put a spotlight on? Fill out the form below and tell us about them.

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WATCH ALSO: Retired journalist remembers MLK, Jr. on anniversary of death | Extended Interview

Louis Morton, 79, is a retired journalist who covered the civil rights movement. As a student at Columbia Journalism School, Morton attended the march on Washington D.C. and attended Kings famous I have a dream speech. He tells ABC10 things have changed since those days, and he's proud of youth for their part in it.  



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