Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Why Black History Month?

A few days ago, a friend asked the question," Why was Black History Month in February? Why not in January, when we remember Martin Luther King's birthday?"
A very good question, my friend. And a very good reason why we need Black History Month.
While we as a nation honour Dr. King in January, he isn't the sole reason for the Black History Month.
The celebration of Black History, as we know it, began in 1926. Dr. Woodson chose the second week of February to celebrate Negro History Week because that week included the birthdays of two important men in our history; President Abraham Lincoln ( born on February 12) and Frederick Douglass ( born on February 14). While in school, my mother knew the celebration as Negro History Week. When I started sixth grade, in most black schools, it was known as Black History Week.
Between 6th and 9th grade, the Jr. High school I attended taught Black History as a course, Black History Week would be the highlight of that course.
The year, 1976 Negro History became Black History Month the celebrations during the second week of February expanded to the entire month of February.
Many Americans today don't know about this beginning of Black History Month. Many Americans are still unaware of the roles people of colour have played, not just in America, but the world at large.
 And it is for these reasons, we still need Black History Month.

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