Black History Month

Carter G. Woodson
Black History Month traces its roots back to Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, who hoped to raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization. He founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), and conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The first celebration occurred during a week in February of 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming and widely endorsed by people everywhere. Black history clubs sprang up and teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils.
By the time Woodson died in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and more Americans appreciated the celebration. The Black Awakening of the 1960s again expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all color on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.
The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976. President Ford urged Americans to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area throughout our history.” That year the association held the first African American History Month. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. And the association—now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)—continues to promote the study of Black history all year.

Learn More

Black History @ on the Web

Black History Month @ Wikipedia

African American History Month @ Library of Congress

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