Ten Things You May Not Know About Black History Month
Questia’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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- It wasn’t until 1976 that every President started designating February as Black History Month.
- Black History Month is celebrated in other countries like
Britainand Canada, but in it’s in October. Britain
- Schools started observing the holiday in the 1930s when it was still the week-long celebration of Negro History Week.
- Every year the holiday has a different theme. Examples include “From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the
” and “Celebrating Community: A Tribune to black Fraternal, Social, and Civic Institutions.” Americas
- The 2012 National Black History Month theme is “Black Women in American Culture and History.”
- 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.
- 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
senator, Hiram R. Revels (1822-1901), took his oath of office. U.S.
- 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.
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