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The History Behind ‘Black History Month’

Black History Month!

February is Black History Month and for the next 29 days we will celebrate those who have made an impact in our history and future history makers. But have you ever wondered how Black History Month came to be and why it just so happens to be in the month of February. We’ll I did, and I want to share with you what I found on the ‘History Behind Black History Month.’

  • Carter G. Woodson originally founded “Negro History Week” in 1926
  • Became Black History Month in 1976
  • February was chose because it’s the birthday month of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass

“Dr. Carter G. Woodson, considered to be a pioneer in the study of African American history, is given much of the credit for Black History Month. The son of former slaves, Woodson spent his childhood working in coalmines and quarries. He received his education during the four-month term that was customary for black schools at the time. At 19, having taught himself English fundamentals and arithmetic, Woodson entered high school, where he completed a four-year curriculum in two years. He went on to receive his Masters degree in history from the University of Chicago, and he eventually earned a PhD from Harvard.

Disturbed that history textbooks largely ignored America’s black population, Woodson took on the challenge of writing black Americans into the nation’s history. To do this, Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. He also founded the group’s widely respected publication, the Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he developed Negro History Week. Woodson believed that “the achievements of the Negro properly set forth will crown him as a factor in early human progress and a maker of modern civilization.”

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Watch this video on Black History Month

Photo via BLS.gov

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