Black history was first celebrated in the U.S. on Feb. 12, 1926. It was first known as “Negro History Week” and later became “Black History Month.”
Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a scholar born to parents who were former slaves, took on the challenge of writing black Americans into the nation’s history.
Before then history books either ignored the black population or reflected the inferior social position they were given at the time.
Woodson, along with Rev. Jesse E. Moorland, established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) in 1915.
Their goal was to research/bring awareness to the crucial role black people played in U.S. and world history.
A year later he published his findings in the Journal of Negro History. His hope was to dispel popular mistruths and to educate African-Americans about their cultural background.
Woodson launched Negro History week in 1926 as an initiative to bring national attention to the contributions of African-Americans throughout American history.
He chose the second week of February to celebrate Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
The Black Power Movement of the 1970s, which emphasized racial pride and the significance of collective cultural values, prompted the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History to change Negro History week to Black History week.
It was extended from one week to a month-long observance in 1976.
For more info on Black History Month, check out this video from BET.
Lead an inclusive group exercise at your school. GO