February 1st – March 1st is Black History Month. It is an opportunity to understand Black histories, going beyond stories of slavery or racism to celebrating Black Men and Women achievement. This year's theme is The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity, and will explore the African diaspora.. 2021 follows a time where racial injustice calls took a new turn providing a fresh reminder and awareness to where systemic racism still persists and providing visibility to organizations creating social change.
How did Black History Month begin?
Black History Month's first iteration was Negro History Week, created in February 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, popularly known as the "father of Black history." Woodson helped establish the field of African American studies and his organization, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, aimed to encourage "people of all ethnicity discuss Black experience".
Why is Black History Month important?
For many young Black Women and Men, the celebration ushers in a new perspective and opportunity to reimagine the possibilities that lies ahead. For some, the forces that drove Woodson about a century ago are more relevant than they have ever being.
Why is Black History Month celebrated?
Initially, Black History Month was a way to teach young people about Black and African-Americans' contributions to the society. Such stories are being forgotten and have been neglected for so long. Now, it is a celebration of those who've impacted not just the country but the world with selfless act and achievements. In the US, the month of February is a good opportunity for people to engage with Black histories, go beyond discussions of slavery, highlighting Black leaders who have paved the way and and their accomplishments.
How did Black History Month become a national month of celebration?
By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the civil-rights movement and a growing awareness of Black identity, Negro History Week was celebrated by mayors in cities across the country. Eventually, the event gradually evolved into what is now known as Black History Month for all.
ASALH. (n.d.). BLACK HISTORY THEMES. Retrieved from ASALH: https://asalh.org/black-history-themes/
Du Bois, W. E. B. (1899) Young African American woman, half-length portrait, facing right, wearing hat. Georgia, 1899. [or 1900] [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/98517070/.
Editors, H. (2009, October 27). Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved from HISTORY: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/civil-rights-movement
Wallenfeldt, J. (n.d.). Why Is Black History Month Celebrated in February? Retrieved from Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/story/why-is-black-history-month-celebrated-in-february
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