From culture to heritage, February is a special month to the African-Americans as this is a year round celebration of their contributions to the United States and world history.
In 1976, US President Gerald Ford declared February as the official Black History Month. This annual celebration is also being held in the United Kingdom and Canada.
As Ford said, “Seize the opportunity to honour the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavour throughout our history.”
Emerging from the Negro History Week, Black History Month was promoted by historian Carter G Woodson and prominent African-American minister Jesse E Moorland.
The duo founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History which sponsored a Negro History Week in 1926, choosing the second week of February in line with Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays.
“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,” Woodson said on the importance of teaching black in the study of race within society.
With the black identity and the Civil Rights Movement getting more exposure, Negro History Week then evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.