Every year in February, we honor Black History Month. According to History, Black History Month is “an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.”
Here are a few interesting facts about Black History Month:
Black History Month Wasn’t Always A Month
When it was first founded, Black History Month was only a week and was called Negro History Week. In the ’60s, various colleges and universities expanded the recognition of African American history to the full month of February. Per People, President Gerald Ford officially recognized it as the month-long celebration that it is now.
Black History Month Was Founded in 1915.
According to People, Harvard historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History to bring awareness to the African American people who had made contributions to society, but had been forgotten or left out of the narrative. That turned into Negro History Week, and later into Black History Month.
Not Every Country Celebrates Black History Month in February
Revolt states that some countries, including the Netherlands and the U.K., celebrate in October.
There Is A Reason We Celebrate BHM in February
History states that February wasn’t just randomly chosen for Black History Month. Back when it was Negro History Week, the second week of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
Black History Month Has Different Themes
History also explains that every president decides on a specific theme for Black History Month. This has been done since 1976. The official theme for 2021: “Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.”
Woodson Did More Than Just Establish Black History Month
As People explains, Carter Woodson helped to create Black History month. He also did many more things in his life for African Americans, including establishing the Journal of Negro History in 1916 and the Negro History Bulletin in 1937. He did this as a way of giving Black scholars a place to publish their research and findings.