An Inside View of Black History Month


Autumn Minor, Staff Writer

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 origin of Black History month began in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. It first began as “Negro History Week” which was created by Carter G. Woodson; “As early as the 1940s, efforts began to expand the week of public celebration of African American heritage and achievements into a longer event” (Pruitt, the author of another article on Black History). He felt that African Americans needed a time of their own to be acknowledged more for their events and achievements in history. He turned to his fraternity who helped him create the start of this movement. 

Woodson felt that the remembrance of the history of African Americans would help to motivate others to rise to their highest potential. ¨As he joined the thousands of Black Americans overflowing from the Coliseum, which housed exhibits highlighting African American achievements since the abolition of slavery, Woodson was inspired to do more in the spirit of celebrating Black history and heritage” (Pruitt). He chose the month of February because it contained the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two important men whose historic achievements African Americans already celebrated. Many people were curious as to why Black History Month is in the month of February, and this may be surprising to some. Black History is more than just a month, and the acknowledgement of African Americans and their achievements is greatly appreciated and important. 

Today, Black History can be celebrated in many ways. It is important for this broad topic to be taught in schools, be acknowledged in other public places, and even be researched and spread more on social media. It is celebrated nationally, by many people around the world. “As we mark the 40th year of National African American History Month, let us reflect on the sacrifices and contributions made by generations of African Americans, and let us resolve to continue our march toward a day when every person knows the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” (Pruitt). This was said by Barack Obama in 2016, as he acknowledged the African American heritage. When it comes to Black History, there is always more to learn because it is such a broad, growing topic. To learn more, you can visit other credible history sites and magazines like HISTORY and TIME Magazine at Stay tuned this month for more on Black History!