By Jueseppi B.
Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African American diaspora. This is the month that all of the hard work of the people who put in for African Americans to be free is celebrated. It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February and the United Kingdom in October.
Black History Month had its beginnings in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be ”Negro History Week”. This week was chosen because it marked the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Woodson created the holiday with the hope that it eventually be eliminated when black history became fundamental to American history.
Negro History Week was met with enthusiastic response; it prompted the creation of black history clubs, an increase in interest among teachers, and interest from progressive whites. In 1976, the federal government acknowledged the expansion of Black History Week to Black History Month by the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University in February of 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month occurred at Kent State in February of 1970.
Six years later during the bicentennial, the expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was recognized by the U.S. government. Gerald Ford spoke in regards to this, urging Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Black History Month sparks an annual debate about the continued usefulness and fairness of a designated month dedicated to the history of one race. Many people hold concerns about black history being delegated to a single month and the “hero worship” of some of the historical figures often recognized. Morgan Freeman, a critic of Black History Month, said: “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history.”
As usual Mr. Morgan Freeman does not know his asshole from a gopher hole. Black History is most definitely NOT American History. Especially when Black History is NOT taught correctly in the American educational system. That silly opinion by Mr. Freeman makes me wonder if he knows his Black History.
The History of Black History
by Elissa Haney
Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as “Negro History Week” and later as “Black History Month.” What you might not know is that black history had barely begun to be studied-or even documented-when the tradition originated. Although blacks have been in America at least as far back as colonial times, it was not until the 20th century that they gained a respectable presence in the history books.
Blacks Absent from History Books
We owe the celebration of Black History Month, and more importantly, the study of black history, to Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Born to parents who were former slaves, he spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at age twenty. He graduated within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. The scholar was disturbed to find in his studies that history books largely ignored the black American population-and when blacks did figure into the picture, it was generally in ways that reflected the inferior social position they were assigned at the time.
This is why Mr. Morgan Freeman’s statement above is garbage.
Established Journal of Negro History
Woodson, always one to act on his ambitions, decided to take on the challenge of writing black Americans into the nation’s history. He established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) in 1915, and a year later founded the widely respected Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he launched Negro History Week as an initiative to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history.
Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population, Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. However, February has much more than Douglass and Lincoln to show for its significance in black American history. For example:
February 23, 1868:
W. E. B. DuBois, important civil rights leader and co-founder of the NAACP, was born.
February 3, 1870:
The 15th Amendment was passed, granting blacks the right to vote.
February 25, 1870:
The first black U.S. senator, Hiram R. Revels (1822-1901), took his oath of office.
February 12, 1909:
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded by a group of concerned black and white citizens in New York City.
February 1, 1960:
In what would become a civil-rights movement milestone, a group of black Greensboro, N.C., college students began a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter.
February 21, 1965:
Malcolm X, the militant leader who promoted Black Nationalism, was shot to death by three Black Muslims.
Black History Month is observed every February in the United States. Learn about the history of Black History Month, read biographies of famous African Americans, try our quizzes and crosswords, find stats and facts about African Americans, and more.
Learn about famous firsts by black Americans, read the history of black history, and find information about milestones in black history.
Find out about recent developments in civil rights cases, milestones in affirmative action, population statistics regarding African Americans, and more.
Brush up on the Harlem Renaissance and Negro League Baseball, read biographies of famous African Americans, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali, and more.
Learn about the history, traditions, and significance of Kwanzaa, Juneteenth, and Martin Luther King Jr Day.
Find information about the best colleges for African Americans, historically black colleges, milestones in education, and more.
Learn about awards exclusively for African Americans, including the NAACP Image Awards, the Spingarn Medal, and the Coretta Scott King Award, and see a full list of winners.
Thank you Info Please for this vitally important information.
500 Notable African American Biographies
- A-Z List
- Civil Rights Leaders
- Figures in Abolitionism
- Government Officials
- Religious Leaders
- Scholars & Educators
- Scientists & Inventors
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