- 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
United States Census Bureau