Every year, between February 1 to March 1, African Americans across the globe observe “Black History Month,” an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.
The month is also known as the “African American History Month.” It has been in existence since 1926 and the theme for this year’s celebration is “Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.”
Below are 5 facts about Black History Month:
- The celebration of Black History Month was pioneered by Historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History to bring awareness to the African American people who had made contributions to society but had been forgotten or left out.
- Started as “Negro History Week,” a week that was dedicated to making previous unacknowledge contributions by African Americans reach far and wide. Later in the 1960s, it was expanded to be the African American month.
- The celebration was made to be in February because it coincides with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglas (February 12 and 14 respectively). These two men were celebrated across the black communities at the start of the Negro History week.
- Across the globe, not every country celebrates “Black History Month” in February. In the Netherlands and the U.K, Black History Month is celebrated in October.
- The theme for this year “Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,” signifies the representation, identification, and diversification of black people which has been acclaimed by the white majority since slavery to date.