Black History Month

Tayo Omoniyi, Staff Reporter

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Black History is annually celebrated during the month of February to commemorate the contribution black people have made to this country. In 1915, Harvard graduate and historian Carter G. Woodson and famous minister Jesse E. Moorland the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. This organization was made to promote and research achievements that were made in the black community and give black excellence more recognition. In 1926, they sponsored a Negro History Week in the second month of February. This week was specifically chosen to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. This marked the first annual celebration dedicating to celebrating achievements in the black community and black pride. The ASNLH inspired communities, schools, and mayors in cities to celebrate Negro History Week as well. Due to the growing Civil Rights Movement, Negro History Week evolved into Black History Month at many colleges. In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford finally became the 1st U.S. president to officially recognize Black History Month as a holiday. Ford urged America to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since then, Black History Month has been celebrated by each U.S. President, and it has been given a specific theme each year.

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