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Black History Month

Derrion Williams

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Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the idea of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

The origin of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other people of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.

In the decades following, mayors of cities across the country began issuing yearly proclamations recognizing Negro History Week. By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the Civil Rights Movement and a growing awareness of black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Since then, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. The 2013 theme, “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation” and the “March on Washington”, marks the 150th and 50th anniversaries of two pivotal events in African-American history.

Everyone should recognize Black History Month as more than just another month in the year. This should be a time of celebration and remembrance of African-Americans and black people everywhere. Black History Month is very important, because the coming generations will need to know the significance of the month and how far the black race has come after all these years. Black History Month will be recognized and celebrated throughout all of time.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Black History Month”

  1. debra goss-seeger on February 15th, 2017 11:02 am

    hi LOVE your article and the Black History Month Photo – could you share your original black history month picture with me or tell me where you got it? I have a program at 1PM today (PST) and when I copy the image it is grainy.

    [Reply]

    adviser Reply:

    Thank you for you comment and for viewing our page. Unfortunately, that article was written last year and I am new to working as the adviser this year. So, I am not sure where the photo originated from. I am sorry I could not be of any more help. I hope you were able to find what you needed.

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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Black History Month