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Black History Month

1 February 2022

Black History Month

Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, begins on February 1st and lasts throughout the whole of February, where African American people’s achievements are celebrated, and their roles in American history are praised and recognized.

Initially named Negro History Week, Black History Month’s founder was a student of African American Studies and Historian Carter G. Woodson. In 1915, 50 years after the abolishment of slavery, Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland, a minister, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), whose purpose was to research black Americans and Africans’ achievements and contributions and promote them within the American society, to educate people, as they found that African American history was, at the time, overlooked by academia, and not being taught properly in schools.

The Civil Rights movement and the evolution of Black History Month

During the Civil Rights Movement, which took place in the 1950s and 1960s, black people fought for their equality under American Law. Even though slavery had been abolished in the 19th century, African Americans were still severely marginalized, and had to endure destructive racism, especially in the American South where Jim Crow segregationist laws were in place. Thus began an unprecedented fight for equality that lasted for two decades.

It was during this time, and in a celebration of black identity, that Negro History Week became Black History Month.

At first only recognized as a month of celebrations in some cities, by a few mayors, it was officialized by president Gerald Ford in 1976, who declared Black History Month a national observance.


1 February 2022