Ten Things You May Not Know About Black History Month - The Black Perspective
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Ten Things You May Not Know About Black History Month

By on February 7, 2012

Black History MonthQuestia’s Facts Behind the February Celebration

February marks the celebration of Black History Month, a time to honor the achievements of African Americans and recognize their role in U.S. history. Throughout the month, we often read about the many men and women who’ve played an integral role in history, but how much do you know about Black History Month and how it was started? Here are ten things you may not have known about Black History Month, all found using Questia (www.questia.com), the premier online research tool for students.

  1. Carter G. Woodson founded Black History Month in 1926 to highlight the often overlooked role that African Americans played in both American and world history. Woodson went on to be the second African American to receive a Harvard degree.
  1. Black History Month started as a week-long celebration called “Negro History Week.” It was eventually expanded to the entire month of February, getting a boost in the 1960s by the blossoming civil rights movement.
  1. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, who both played a significant role in African American history.
  1. It wasn’t until 1976 that every President started designating February as Black History Month.
  1. Black History Month is celebrated in other countries like Britain and Canada, but in Britain it’s in October.
  1. Schools started observing the holiday in the 1930s when it was still the week-long celebration of Negro History Week.
  1. Every year the holiday has a different theme. Examples include “From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the Americas” and “Celebrating Community: A Tribune to black Fraternal, Social, and Civic Institutions.”
  1. The 2012 National Black History Month theme is “Black Women in American Culture and History.”
  1. Black History Month inspired other holidays even before it was a month-long celebration. “Juneteenth,” the June celebration of the abolition of slavery, is one such example.
  1. February has long been a month of important dates in African American history:
  • February 3, 1870: The 15th Amendment was passed, granting blacks the right to vote.
  • February 25, 1870: The first black U.S. senator, Hiram R. Revels (1822-1901), took his oath of office.
  • February 12, 1909: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded by a group of concerned black and white citizens in New York City.
  • February 21, 1965: Malcolm X, the militant leader who promoted Black Nationalism, was shot to death by three Black Muslims.

Questia saves students valuable time on research papers and projects. With Questia, students can accurately cite sources, format papers in seven different styles, and organize their notes, research and sources all in one place. Librarians have specially selected Questia’s 77,000 academic books and 4 million journal articles—many of which are peer-reviewed. Since Questia is accessible 24/7, students can research any time of day from anywhere, with the confidence that they’re using credible content from trustworthy sources.

About Cengage Learning and Questia

Cengage Learning is a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. Questia, part of Cengage Learning, is the web’s premier online collection of copyrighted fiction and non-fiction books, academic journals, and research periodicals for students; with integrated tools for note taking, organizing research, citing sources, creating footnotes, and building bibliographies to help students write better research papers faster. For more information, visit www.cengage.com or www.questia.com

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