February 1, 2019
Message to Students introducing Black History Month
February is African American History month and to celebrate daily, we will share African American history and facts. To start our journey, let’s look at the background of the celebration.
Carter G. Woodson, an African-American historian, author, and journalist, conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 which encompasses the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
At mid–century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Black History Week. The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation's bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Black History month should be about more than just reading about the accomplishments of famous black Americans throughout history, although doing so is important. Black History Month is a time for all of us to to think long and deep about just what our shared history tells us; a time to acknowledge those things that were wrong and going forward what we need to get right. As a nation we can no longer afford to ignore the disparities that still exist within our culture, we must turn the dream of America into a reality. This can only occur by celebrating our strength as a country, by embracing our diversity, it’s what makes us who we are.
Let’s all take the time to think about the real meaning of black history month as we go through our day.