Black History Month: why February?

Wednesday, 10 February 2021
February, the month of Black history February, the month of Black history

February is not only the month of love, but also the annual celebration of African Americans’ achievements, more known as the Black History Month.

Throughout February, many events will be organized and activities outreached following a specific theme each year. As a month-long annual celebration, Black History Month is more particularly dedicated to honoring and promoting the achievements of Americans of color, and other people of African descent. At the same time, it is a real opportunity for the future generation to reflect the past towards understanding African American history and getting more involved into the observance. So, where does exactly the idea of celebrating Black History Month come from?

In fact, the answer always lies with Carter Godwin Woodson, the man known as the father of black history. He is also known as the founder of the “Negro History Week”, which is today’s Black History Month.  Before initiating the Negro history week, Carter G. Woodson had primarily launched the ASNLH or the “Association for the Study of Negro Life and History” which focused on black studies field. He had, then, the idea to create a celebration week dedicated to spreading the field of black study and recognizing the long-standing accomplishments by black Americans, which coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (born February 12) and Frederick Douglas (born February 14).The event was, indeed, observed every second week of February. Both Lincoln and Douglas had played a major role in advancing black communities. Abraham Lincoln was most known for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and Frederick Douglass as an eminent abolitionist figure. They became a sort of symbol of freedom and liberation for black people. Long before the Negro history week was created, the two iconic figures had already been honored on their birthdays by African American communities for their contributions. It was several years later that most communities and institutions began to recognize the Negro History Week and then engaged in the week-long celebration. In the 1960s, thanks partially to the American civil rights movement and the awareness among African Americans, the Negro History Week shifted into a month-long recognition. In 1976, US President Gerald Ford officially dedicated February as Black History Month to honor legacies and great achievements of many important African American figures such as Frederick Douglas, MLK, Maya Angelou, and Harriet Tubman.

Sources: HISTORY / oprahmag.com

Read 149 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 February 2021 06:36
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