Black History Month is upon us so I will be dedicating some of my posts towards its significance and the achievements of African Americans in this country. Everyone needs to be enlightened about the contributions (some of which were voluntary, some were involuntary) of African Americans in this society.
Most people in this country know that February is Black History Month, but they may not know the origin. Why February? Why an entire month? So, I’ll start with the basics…
The idea to set apart a special time of year to celebrate the achievements of African Americans was conceived in the early twentieth century by the father of Black History, Carter G. Woodson. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard educated man, was intent on raising awareness of African American contributions in American society. Originally called “Negro History Week”, Woodson chose the month of February because it was the birth month of Frederick Douglas & Abraham Lincoln, both of whom had contributed greatly to the advancement of African Americans.
Following the Civil Rights movements of the 1960’s the consciousness of Black history greatly developed. In honor of the nation’s bicentennial in 1976, the celebration was expanded to the entire month of February. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since then each American president has issued Black History Month proclamations and people all around the country continue to promote Black History Month.