Black History Month: State figures you should know


Photo credit: Andrea Nebhut

Illustrations by Andrea Nebhut

Eddie Bernice Johnson

B. 1935

Photo credit: Andrea Nebhut

Eddie Bernice Johnson is a politician serving her 14th term representing Texas’s 30th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. Johnson was the first registered nurse elected to Congress and the first Black woman from Dallas, Texas to win electoral office. She was also the first Black woman to hold the position of Chief Psychiatric Nurse at the Dallas Veterans Administration Hospital, where she worked for 16 years before going into politics. Johnson co-sponsored the Apollo Lunar Landing Legacy Act, which proposed establishing a National Historical Park on the moon.

Michael Strahan

B. 1971

Photo credit: Andrea Nebhut

Michael Strahan was born in Houston, though he spent his entire 15-year professional football career with the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). In the 2001 season, Strahan set the NFL record for sacks in a single season with 22.5. He helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLII in 2007 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. After his football career ended, Strahan became a co-host of ABC’s “Good Morning America” and a football analyst on “Fox NFL Sunday.”


B. 1981

Photo credit: Andrea Nebhut

How even begin to describe Beyoncé? Beyoncé is a singer, songwriter, producer and actress who was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She rose to fame as the lead singer of the band Destiny’s Child, and she has sold over 100 million records worldwide as a solo artist, making her one of the best-selling musicians in the world. In an article for the New Yorker, music critic Jody Rosen called Beyoncé “the most important and compelling popular musician of the 21st century … the result, the logical end point, of a century-plus of pop.”