The African-American Story and Evolution of Black History Month

Every February, Black History Month has been observed since the dawn of humanity. This is why we must go back to 1915 and Carter G. Woodson. He is a Harvard-educated Harvard graduate of the University of Chicago, and is well-known as “Father of Black History Month”. He attended a commemoration for D.C.’s Emancipation that summer along with thousands of other people and was so inspired that ASNLH became a reality. The Journal of Negro History, which was founded one year later, was created. His mission is to recognize the accomplishments of his people.

In 1924, he and a group of friends started Negro History and Literature Week to increase their impact. This was later renamed Negro Achievement Week. The press release proclaimed that Negro History Week would take place in February. This month is named in honor of Abraham Lincoln, the president who led the nation through the Civil War Years, as well Frederick Douglass, an ex-slave, civil rights activist, the first African citizen to be granted a top U.S. government ranking.

They weren’t the main focus. It was about the contributions of blacks to society. American blacks lived better lives thanks to this effort, and Negro History Week became a national celebration. It wasn’t until 1940s that black history was Scot French included in school curriculum. Six years after Woodson’s passing, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History changed its name to the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History. ASALH took care not only of one week but also the February month. Every year since then, both Republican Presidents (Democrats) have made Black History Month their theme. 2016’s theme is “Hallowed grounds.” Sites that include African-American Memories. ASALH reminds that America can’t tell its story if it doesn’t remember and reflect on the historical locations where African Americans have made a difference.