Why is February black history month
Black history month, also known as African-American History Month in the United States of America, is a tribute to the history of black skinned people who were shipped from Africa to all over the world (especially America) as slaves. This celebration dedicated to the entire history of the African Diaspora, officially began to be celebrated from February, 1976. February is celebrated as the Black History Month in both the US and Canada, but in England, October is the chosen month. The origin of the occasion however, goes fifty years back from 1976 when Woodson first started the “Negro History Week” in an attempt to inform the people in the US about the history and achievements of the black skinned people in 1926.
Carter G. Woodson was the second man in the history of black men who was able to attain a Harvard University doctorate degree in 1912. Achieving such a high level of education was not easy for him and due to his personal hardships that he had to face in his own life as a poor black child; he understood the problems of the African-American people well. However, his life changed forever as he attended the 50th year celebrations of the end of slavery in 1915. Those three weeks in Chicago inspired him to do something to popularize and publicize black history that was not known to everyone. At first he founded the “Association for the Study of Negro Life and History” with four associates and in 1916; they published the “Journal of Negro History”.
In his quest to encourage people towards studying the neglected history of the black men, he started the “Negro History Week”. The reason as to why he chose the second week of February lays in the fact that the birthday of two famous and significant figures in context to the subject was within this timeframe. They were former president Abraham Lincoln born on the 12th of February and statesman Frederick Douglass, who was born on 14th February. Abraham Lincoln wrote the first official document ever (Emancipation Proclamation) that abolished the practice of slavery and Frederick Douglass was himself a slave once but he attained freedom and got himself involved in a number of anti-slavery movements in America. Woodson decided that that it would only be appropriate to choose a timeframe which contains the birthdays of two men who were so closely involved with the abolishment of slavery. In 1976, the “Negro History Week” expanded to the “Black History Month” and thus the entire month of February was dedicated to celebrating the origin, movement and achievements of black men around the world. Each year, the celebration now focuses on a particular historical theme which ranges from “The Niagara Movement” in 2005 to “African-Americans and The Civil War” this year.