Did you Know? Black History month was initially Negro History Week. It was created in 1915 to celebrate the black community’s history by historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. The second week of February was chosen because Abraham Lincoln(Feb.12th) and Fredrick Douglass’s birthday(February 14th) fell in the same week. The black community celebrated both of these dates together since the late 19th century.
Dr. Woodson succeeded by gaining the Department of Education’s support within two states North Carolina, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. And Baltimore. Woodson believed
“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated. The American Indian left no continuous record. He did not appreciate the value of tradition; and where is he today? The Hebrew keenly appreciated the value of tradition, as is attested by the Bible itself. In spite of worldwide persecution, therefore, he is a great”
In four years, except for two states, Woodson’s Negro History week was integrated into the Department of Education’s in every state with a considerable black population. Many churches aided with the distribution of official Negro Week literature.
In 1969 after many years of success with Negro History Week, the Black United Students of Kent University proposed it become a month long. February of 1970 became Black History Month and celebrated at Kent University. It gained popularity amongst college campuses, and President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976. How will you celebrate Black History Month? We will be doing numerous lessons and readings. Check back soon for our book recommendations for the littles.