The Creation of Black History Month
Did you know that the origins of Black History Month date back to 1915? At that time, a gentleman named Dr. Carter G. Woodson traveled to Chicago to participate and present at Illinois' celebration for the 50th anniversary of emancipation. This event inspired him to form an organization dedicated to the scientific study of black life and history, which came to be known as the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (currently known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History) which lead to the creation of Negro History and Literature Week.
Why February? It is believed Dr. Woodson chose it because it encompasses both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass' birthdays, two individuals who greatly shaped black history. Through the 1920s, celebration of the week grew and by the 1940s, the study of black history within the black community expanded. In 1976, the Association worked to officially expand the week to a month. Since that time, every American president has issued proclamations based on the Association's annual theme. To learn more about this history and the legacy of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, we invite you to visit the Association for the Study of African American Life and History's website.