Black History Month has a great significance in American history. It is the time of the year where Americans come together and celebrate Black excellence.
African-Americans play a fundamental part in American history. However, their roles are too-often neglected. Thus, to recognize the sacrifice black people have made in building America, Black History Month is celebrated across the country in February annually.
Also known as African-American History Month, it came into existence after a long hard battle. Initially, people celebrate it as National Negro History Week in 1926. Historian Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard University Ph.D. was the man behind the idea of celebrating black culture and history in America.
He is a pioneer in the study of African-American history and the “Father of Black History”. Woodson, along with minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). It was established to research and promote achievements made by Black Americans and people of African lineage.
The organization, now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) sponsored the National Negro History Week movement in 1926. It chose the second week of February to celebrate black lives for a specific reason.
The dates in the second week of February coincides with the birthdays of two great leaders, Frederic Douglass (Feb. 14) and Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12). Since both of these names play a crucial part in abolishing slavery in the US.
In 1976, fifty years after the first celebration of black history week, the holidays expanded from a week to a month. Thus, Black History month came into existence.
Why Do People Celebrate Black History Month?
The history of black people is significant not just for the Americans but for people across the world. People celebrate Black History Month to recognize and embrace the black community.
It started out as a way to honor notable figures and events in the history of the African diaspora. Today, it’s not just the US that celebrates this holiday. Countries like Canada, the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands are also a part of it.
While February is the official Black History Month in the US and Canada, But in Europe, people celebrate it in October.
Black History Month Theme for 2021.
Since 1976, the month of February is Black History Month. And every year American presidents endorse a specific theme to celebrate the month.
Hence, this year, the theme is, “Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity”. The main goal of the theme is to explore the African diaspora and the spread of Black families across the country.