Black History month is celebrated in February because Carter G. Woodson first commemorated Negro History Week in 1926. Woodson chose the second week in February because Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays were during this time. Congress chose to honor the Woodson’s remembrance and in 1975 designated the entire month of February as Black History Month. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12th and Frederick Douglass, one of the nation’s leading abolitionists was born on February 14th.
Black History month is celebrated in the United States, Canada and in Great Britain, however, the celebration isn’t until October in Great Britain. Canada started its Black History observance in 1995 when Jean Augustine, the first black female MP, introduced the motion.
Black History month gives people who might normally have access to certain information in schools, the ability to learn a few quick bits of information about Black Americans who have made major contributions to American society and the world. many schools don’t give accurate accounts of the achievements of people of color and through 30 second public service announcements, we do get to hear about a few. Some schools dedicate February as a time where Black history is taught, apart from what a child may learn about slavery.
Not everyone is happy about dedicating a single month to Black history. Some feel if there is a Black History month then there should also be a Native American History month or a White History month. There is already a Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 – October 15. Maybe if school districts would adopt curriculum that addressed actual American history there would be no need to segregate our history to 30 day observances.
Maybe we could start by telling children the truth about Christopher Columbus. How can you find something that others already know exists and claim it as a new found land? It might have been new to Columbus but he didn’t “find” it, he stole it. If we choose to get rid of an observance, maybe Columbus Day should be the first to go.
B L A C K H I S T O R Y M O N T H N U G G E T O F T H E D A Y
You’re going to relegate my history to a month? … Which month is White History Month? … I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.
~ Morgan Freeman
Make sure to stop back on February 6, 2010 for our guest blogger, JeLisa Sterling-Smith from …And The Lived Blogging Happily Ever After. Hear JeLisa confess to never wanting to get married – EVER and how the love of her life changed her tune!