Celebrating Black History Month
February 5, 2017
Filed under Features
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Black History Month, also known as National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time to acknowledge the central role of African Americans in U.S. History.
“I think it is awesome to have a month dedicated to all the African Americans that paved the way for us today whether it was through civil rights protests, to music and acting. There’s no telling where we would be today without them,” Desiree March, senior, said.
Half a century after the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States, the story of Black History Month began in 1915. Historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), today known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926. They chose the second week of February because of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Decades later, mayors of many different cities across the country began issuing yearly proclamations recognizing Negro History Week. By the time the late 1960s came around, thanks to the Civil Rights Movement and a growing awareness of black identity, Negro History Week turned into Black History Month.
President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History month in 1976, he called upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Since then every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world like Canada and the United Kingdom also dedicate a month to celebrating black history.
There are still people out there who don’t feel that African Americans should have a whole month dedicated to them. One student we interviewed thinks African Americans have taken their race to the extremes and believe that they aren’t making a difference, mainly the ones who riot and fight.
Today, every American president has designated February as Black History Month. Now the entire nation has the opportunity to recognize the importance of Black History in the drama of the American History story. Many people continue to promote the study of Black History all year.