Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.
The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Woodson chose the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, a famed abolitionist who escaped from slavery, and President Abraham Lincoln, who formally abolished slavery.
Carter G. Woodson, who is is often deemed as the father of Black History, realized how important it was to give the public a theme to focus on.
The theme of Black History Month for 2021 is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.
According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), a group started by Woodson, “The intention has never been to dictate or limit the exploration of the Black experience, but to bring to the public’s attention important developments that merit emphasis.”
Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.
This video by HISTORY.com delves into the history of #BlackHistoryMonth and the champions and heroes who stood up for their rights.
Video Credit: HISTORY.com