Black History Month

Carter G. Woodson

The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week”.This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 14, both of which dates black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing our central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History History Month, it was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later, from January 2 to February 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 Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month, during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial.

Black History Month, which is celebrated each year during February, is a chance for Americans to learn details of our nation’s history that, unfortunately, are far too often neglected and pushed to the wayside. As the saying goes, black history is American history — and it’s a varied and rich history.

This year, Black History Month returns to its roots with a new focus on black family ties.

The theme for 2021, “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity”, explores the wide-ranging diversity of black family life — from single to two-parent households to nuclear, extended and, more recently, bi-racial.

We are proud to celebrate Black History Month and continue to recognize and honor the accomplishments of people of color local and nationally. Not only for the month of February, but eternally.