Celebrate Black History Month
Learn More About Black History MonthAnother Black History Month has arrived, but what do you really know about Black History Month?
Do you know when Black History Month started? Do you know what other countries also celebrate Black History Month? Well, if you are answering “No” to any or all of these questions, just keep reading and you’ll learn more about Black History Month.
Black History Month actually started as Negro History Week. It was started in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson. Mr. Woodson felt a week focusing on the diverse history, accomplishments and cultural backgrounds.
Carter G. Woodson was born December 19, 1875 in New Canton, Virgina, the son of forrmer slaves, whose father helped the Union soldiers during the US Civil War. Carter G. Woodson was unable to attend school regularly but instead taught himself all basics of reading and writing and was quite accomplished by the age of 17. Later Mr. Woodson went on the establish the Journal of Negro History.
Originally Black History Month was only one week - the second week of February - timed to fall between the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In 1976 Black History Week became Black History Month and came to be celebrated annually in the month of February.
The United States is not the only country to celebrate black history (also referred to as African-America History Month). Canada also celebrates Black History Month annually in February and in the United Kingdom Black History Month is celebrated in October.
Black History Month is celebrated in a wide variety of ways. Many people of color with whose roots can be traced back to Africa often add a piece of traditional African garb or African themed clothing to their wardrobe. Sometimes special jewelry is worn that was made in Africa. On television we’ll often see many documentaries, specials or African-American themed movies or mini-series. Anyone who watched Roots when it first aired in the 1970’s was deeply touched and in many ways this show opened the eyes of many to the rich history and variety of people who call themselves African-American. In public, private and homeschools, February is often set aside to focus on the accomplishments of black Americans.
President Gerald R. Ford was the first president to officially recognize Black History Month and asked all Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history." And that’s exactly what Americans have been doing since Carter G. Woodson founded Black History Week in 1926.