History of Black History Month

1 02 2010

Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Of course you know that February is Black History Month, but do you know the history behind it? You do…right? Well, if not this post is for you, and if you do know, share it with someone who doesn’t!

Dr. Carter G. Woodson and Rev. Jesse Moorland co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. The goal? To explore and bring awareness “to the largerly ignored, yet crucial role black people played in American and world history.” Woodson published and distributed what he found in The Journal of Negro History with the hopes of dispelling accepted untruths and teaching black people about their cultural background and give them a sense of racial pride.

With Woodson’s influence, the fraternity Omega Psi Phi created Negro History and Literature Week in 1920, and in 1926, he changed the name to Negro History Week. Woodson chose February as a way to honor the birth of two men whose actions radically changed the future of black Americans: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

The Black Power Movement of the 1970s prompted the ASNLH (Association for the Study of African American Life and History) to change Negro History Week to Black History Week. In 1976, the week became a month-long observance.

 

 

“We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.”

 –Dr. Woodson on founding Negro History Week:

Source: biography.com

Photo from: www.noa.gov

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