What is Black History Month and Why is it Celebrated?
What is black history month and why is it celebrated?
Founded in 1926, black history month is an annual observance that commemorates the achievements of African Americans. It is recognized in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. It is often referred to as African American History Month or Black History Month and has been proclaimed by U.S. presidents since 1976 as a way to celebrate the lives and contributions of Black people.
February is Black History Month, a time of year when we honor the many contributions that African Americans have made to our country and culture. It is a time to look back at the past and remember those who came before us, as well as those who are helping to shape the future of America.
The Origins of Black History Month
Carter G. Woodson, an influential African American historian, wanted to bring greater attention to the stories of African Americans. He created Negro History Week in February 1926, a week-long celebration of Black history to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14).
The reason for choosing February was simple: Both men were born on this date, and they played important roles in paving the way for the abolition of slavery.
Woodson wanted to ensure that Black students were taught about their history and how the past influenced their present. He also wanted to promote social justice by showing people how much of the nation’s growth was founded on the work and contributions of Black people.
He and his association, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), were successful in bringing greater awareness to Black history. ASALH now promotes Black history education and is the official promotor of Black History Month in the United States.
As ASALH has grown, it has partnered with museums, universities and other institutions to educate people about the Black experience and its impact on our country. This includes the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, the Smithsonian Institute and other national organizations that focus on African American history.
In addition to educating people about the contributions of African Americans, Black history month provides an opportunity to discuss current issues and challenges that affect the community. This can be an important step in addressing systemic racism and building a more inclusive society.
The History of Black History Month
During the Jim Crow era, schools and communities were censored for focusing on Black history in the classroom. As a result, it was not until the civil rights movement that public schools began to teach more about African Americans’ role in our nation’s history.
According to LaGarrett King, an associate professor of social studies education at the University of Buffalo, teachers pushed for Black history courses during that era. She adds that the Black press, especially in the 1960s, encouraged people to recognize the importance of teaching about Black history.