Here’s a look at the origins of the black history month and why it all began. We’ll also know about the founder of Black History Month – why this month is essential, where it came from, and some fascinating facts about black history.
Introduction to Black History Month
If you are wondering – what is black history month, then here’s all you need to know.
Black History Month takes place in February every year. It is a time that highlights (talk about) the amazing stories and achievements of African Americans. It was created to recognize the achievements and contributions of the African Americans to U.S. history.
What is the origin of the Black History Month?
A person named Carter G. Woodson is known as the founder of the Black History Month. in 1926, he started, what was then called, the Negro History Week. Carter was the founder of an organization called the Association for the Study of African American History. This group marked the second week of February as “Negro History Week”.
This later turned into the Black History Month.
What was the reason for having a Black History Month?
Carter thought it was important to talk about the amazing contributions of African Americans. He wanted Black kids to know about their history and what their ancestors achieved. At the time very few people studied and knew about Black history. It was not a part of textbooks before the start of the Negro History Week.
Carter was the son of a slave (his father had been freed eventually. In America many blacks were slaves at that time) and he thought of the idea of a Negro History Week as a way to make Black Americans more interested in their history. He was worried that Black children did not know enough about the achievements of their ancestors as they were not being taught that in schools in the 1900s.
Important note: Though used in the article because of historical use, the words ‘negro’ and ‘Black’ aren’t used to refer to the African-American population any longer. They are offensive terms and usage is not encouraged at all. We simply call the ethnicity as ‘African-Americans’.
How did the Black History Week become Black History Month?
Negro (Black) History Week was very successful, but Woodson wanted it to be longer and felt that more was needed to be done. Also, around the 1940s to the 1960s, many places (like Chicago and Virginia) made this celebration into Negro History Month. People all over then started to ask the week to be officially shifted to Black History Month.
In 1975, US President Gerald Ford was one of the first US Presidents to honour the Black History Week – he said that the stories of black people needed telling. In 1976, on the 50th anniversary of the Negro History Week, the first Black History Month was created.
Since 1976, every U.S. president officially made February as Black History Month.
Significance of Black History Month
The Black History month sheds light on struggles and successes of African Americans in history.
It’s important to know this history to appreciate the strength and bravery of the black community. It also educates people on their achievements in science, sports, music, etc.
Why do we celebrate Black History Month in February?
Have you wondered, why is Black History Month in February?
February was chosen as it is the birth month of two people who did a lot to free the African Americans from slavery.
One was the US President Abraham Lincoln, who was born on Feb. 12, 1809. He was the one who is responsible for ending slavery in America – it’s a long history of civil war, but for this article what you need to know is that he was the President who issued, what is called the ‘Emancipation Proclamation’ which made the enslaved people living within many states free.
The other was Frederick Douglass – a leader who fought to abolish (remove) slavery. He was born enslaved but later became free. He celebrated his birthday on Feb. 14, but no one can say for sure what his real birthday was.
This is the reason why Carter Woodson chose the second week of February for the Negro History Week – as a way to honour these birthdays and tehir legacies.
Black History Month is a time to celebrate the strength, creativity, and achievements of African Americans. Hope you found these black history month facts informational and can now answer the question – what is black history month?
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