February 16, 2017
Every year, Americans observe Black History Month in February. Historian Carter G. Woodson, the son of freed slaves and holder of a Ph.D. from Harvard, was concerned that black children were not being taught about their ancestors’ accomplishments in school. To mitigate this, he, along with his organization, the Association for the Study of Negro Life, announced that the second week of February would be set aside as Negro History Week.
This week includes President Lincoln’s birthday (2/12) and the day Frederick Douglass, a former slave who was unsure of his actual birth date, celebrated his birth (2/14). It was first observed in 1926 as a celebration and remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. Fifty years later, under President Gerald R. Ford, the celebration was expanded to encompass the entire month of February and became known as Black History Month. President Ford urged Americans to, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Black History Month was intended to and continues to honor the history, struggles, and triumphs of black people across the world. This month, consider supporting one of these highly-rated organizations that are working diligently to promote black health, education, rights and community development in the United States, and celebrate the values of this important month.