The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian
and the announced the second week of February to be \”Negro History Week\”. This week was chosen because it coincided with the on February 12 and of on February 14, both of which dates black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century. From the event\’s initial phase, primary emphasis was placed on encouraging the coordinated teaching of the history of American blacks in the nation\’s. The first Negro History Week was met with a lukewarm response, gaining the cooperation of the Departments of Education of the states of, and as well as the city school administrations of and. Despite this far from universal acceptance, the event was regarded by Woodson as \”one of the most fortunate steps ever taken by the Association\”, and plans for a repeat of the event on an annual basis continued apace. At the time of Negro History Week\’s launch, Woodson contended that the teaching of black history was essential to ensure the physical and intellectual survival of the race within broader society: \”If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.
The American Indian left no continuous record. He did not appreciate the value of tradition; and where is he today? The Hebrew keenly appreciated the value of tradition, as is attested by the Bible itself. In spite of worldwide persecution, therefore, he is a great factor in our civilization. \” By 1929, The Journal of Negro History was able to note that with only two exceptions, officials with the State Departments of Educations of \”every state with considerable Negro population\” had made the event known to that state\’s teachers and distributed official literature associated with the event\”. Churches also played a significant role in the distribution of literature in association with Negro History Week during this initial interval, with the mainstream and black press aiding in the publicity effort. Negro History Week was met with enthusiastic response; it prompted the creation of black history clubs, an increase in interest among teachers, and interest from progressive whites. Negro History Week grew in popularity throughout the following decades, with mayors across the United States endorsing it as a holiday. On February 21, 2016, 106-year Washington D. C. resident and school volunteer visited the as part of Black History Month.
When asked by the president why she was there, McLaurin said, \”A black president. A black wife. And Im here to celebrate black history. Thats what I\’m here for. \” [ Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the at in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later, from 2/1/1970 – 2/28/1970. Six years later, Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers, both great and small, when President recognized Black History Month, during the celebration of the. He 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 first celebrated in the United Kingdom in 1987. It was organised through the leadership of analyst, who had served as a coordinator of special projects for the (GLC) and created a collaboration to get it underway. It was first celebrated in London. In 1995, after a motion by politician, representing the riding of in Ontario, Canada\’s officially recognized February as Black History Month and honored.
In 2008, Senator moved to have the officially recognize Black History Month, which was unanimously approved. In 1926, Harvard educated historian, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, ushered into the American experience a celebration of the accomplishments of Black Americans under the banner: Negro History Week. Woodson, always one to act on his ambitions, decided to take on the challenge of writing black Americans into the nation\’s history. He established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) in 1915, and a year later founded the widely respected Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he launched Negro History Week as an initiative to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history. Woodson chose the second week of February for Negro History Week because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population, abolitionist, Frederick Douglass, and former US president, Abraham Lincoln. Since 1976, Black History Month has been celebrated from February 1 to February 28th across the United States and Canada. Any month could have been selected to reflect on the Black American story.
However, February holds great significance to all Americans. After all, in Februarys throughout the past two centuries, the 15th Amendment freeing slaves would be passed, the first Black senator would take his oath of office, DuBois would be born, four Black college students would refuse to leave a segregated Woolworth\’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the world would mourn the death of Malcolm X. Because of Dr. Woodson, the world now knows the importance of the African Diaspora experience, and it is almost impossible to find an elementary, middle school, high school, or college textbook that does not include aspects of Black history. In Africana Studies, we are committed to using our people\’s past glory to guide our future story. For over 25 years, Africana Studies at the University of New Mexico has ushered in the University\’s Black History Month celebrations with the Annual Black History Month Kick-Off Brunch the last Saturday in January. We conclude the celebrations with African American Student Services Black Cultural Conference the first week of March. Please visit our links to see a history of Africana Studies\’ Kick-Off Brunch and other Black history month programming. Click here to view