Black History Month was first celebrated in 1926, but you might not know the full story behind it. In this article, I’ll tell you what you need to know about Black History Month, from how it got started to why we should celebrate it every single day of the year.
Also, the black history trivia questions are the best way to test yourself and see what you know about black history. So, read on for some interesting facts about the celebration of Black History Month.
1. Black History Month was created by a black historian
You may not know this, but Carter G. Woodson was the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University.
He also created Negro History Week in 1926, which served as the precursor to Black History Month and quickly spread across the country. In fact, it wasn’t until 1976 that President Gerald Ford issued an official proclamation declaring February as Black History Month.
2. There were two different people called Carter G. Woodson
The first was a historian and author of many books who died in 1950. He is considered the founder of Black History Month, which he started as Negro History Week in 1926. The second was an African-American poet and activist born in 1924, who published his first book, “New England Blues,” at age 13 with two sketches by Langston Hughes (who had also written his own poems). In addition to being an accomplished poet himself, he served as mentor for several influential poets including Sonia Sanchez (the winner of three National Poetry Awards) and Lamar Smith (the recipient of four National Endowment for the Arts awards).
3. The first black history week was a week in February 1926
In 1926, Carter G. Woodson started Black History Week to celebrate the accomplishments of black people and their role in American history. He was a historian, journalist and educator who founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). The week became popular after it was picked up by George Washington Carver’s alma mater Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama in 1930.
4. The first black history month was in 1970
During this time, the country was still reeling from the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum, two events that had a significant impact on black history.Read more: Top 5 Digital Marketing Course Institute in Rohini
The month was chosen because it marked both the birthdays of two great African-Americans: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
5. It was nearly called Negro History Week
While you may have known that Black History Month was once called Negro History Week, you probably didn’t know the history behind it. Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week in 1926. It was first celebrated from February 7th to February 13th of that year but then took place during the second week of February for years afterward because Woodson wanted to avoid having his celebration fall on Valentine’s Day.
This is also when we see our first mention of “Negro.” Why? Because this word comes from négritude, which means “the blackness or darkness of people,” according to Dictionary.com (though it can be used as a synonym for African American). It started being commonly used by African Americans in the 1930s because they wanted their heritage recognized as separate from white culture and history, and come on now: do you blame them?
We need to educate ourselves on our history
Black History Month (also known as African-American History Month) is an annual observance in the United States and Canada designed to celebrate the heritage, culture and achievements of people of African descent. The month has been recognized every February since 1926, when it was created as a way to educate Americans about the rich history that’s part of this country’s tapestry.
The fact that we have a designated month for celebration means there has been some progress made. Things like segregation in schools, housing discrimination, job hiring practices and voter disenfranchisement all came into being because people didn’t know about or understand what their fellow Americans were going through, they had no idea until they took time to educate themselves on their country’s history; so let’s continue making sure we know our past by looking at five things you might not have heard before:
Black History Month is a time to learn and remember the contributions of black people in history. It’s also a time to celebrate them, but we all need to do our part if we want to keep celebrating this important month.