February is known as the black history month where African Americans get embraced. Important figures in African American history made America what it is today. As you celebrate this month, are you aware of where it all began or the reason? Apparently, black people had no place in society.
The Founding Father of Black History Month
The founding father of black history was Carter G. Woodson. Carter’s was bold enough to announce the “Negro History Week” to bring to light a celebration of people who supposedly had no place in history. In 1915, Black History in the U.S schools started with Dr. Carter G. Woodson along with his Colleagues in Chicago. The first celebration occurred on Feb. 12, 1926, where the African American Life and History Life and History (ASALH) sponsored a national Negro History week. Â It wasn’t until 1976 that it was extended to the full month of February.
The prominent names you hear, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln, make African Americans visible to society. Interestingly, the month of February holds birthday celebrations for Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Decades later, together with black lives activists’ efforts and civil rights protests, the black history celebration was enhanced to one a month. This expansion took place after the then-president, Gerald R. Ford, announced a national adherence to the black history celebration. After the Pioneer’s death, a foundation was named after him, and its primary role had been ensuring that February marks a black history celebration.
If you are a Jazz music lover, you might want to embrace black history through music. Jazz music is also one symbol in blacks’ history because it was formed by African Americans, originating from Louisiana in the 19th century.
About Carter G. Woodson
Carter G. Woodson was born in 1875 in New Canton, Virginia. He worked as a sharecropper, miner, and various other tasks as a child to help support his big family. He made up for lost time by graduating in less than two years, despite arriving late to high school. After graduating from Berea College in Kentucky, Woodson worked as an education superintendent for the US government in the Philippines. Before coming to Harvard, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago. Woodson was the second African American (after W.E.B. DuBois) to obtain a doctorate from the ASNLH in 1912. Three years before it was founded in 1875 in New Canton, Virginia, he worked as a sharecropper, miner, and other tasks to help support his big family. He made up for lost time by graduating in less than two years, despite arriving late to high school. After graduating from Berea College in Kentucky, Woodson worked as an education superintendent for the US government in the Philippines. Before coming to Harvard, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Chicago.
Thanks, Carter G. Woodson acknowledging black history. Today, when students learn about BlackÂ historyÂ inÂ class, their lessons are limited toÂ slavery orÂ theÂ civil rightsÂ era. The curriculum isn’t great. It’s a start, but more needs to be done to incorporate Black History in American History as it should be. Â
“Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history or somehow just boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits from the March on Washington or from some of our sports heroes,” Obama said.
This month, you can do something special in honor of black history. You can tune into some Jazz music by Louis Armstrong, watch a documentary of Martin Luther King or the documentary, Sankofa Chicago, or support a black-owned business, to appreciate the far black people have come in the United States.
Take the Black History Quiz