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The origins of Black History month

Carter G. Woodson created Black History month in 1925
Carter G. Woodson created Black History month in 1925
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February is Black history month got started by a Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, who also founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). In 1925 Woodson conceived and announced Negro History Week. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Woodson and others like him believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. The goal of started Black history month was to help raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization.

This paved the way opening the door to many events, clubs, teachers demanding materials to instruct their pupils as well as scholars and philanthropists stepping forward to endorse the effort.

Carter G. Woodson first coined Negro History week in 1925 and was introduced as a full month by President Gerald R. Ford in 1976 and upon Woodson's death in 1950, has continued to grow into a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. At mid–century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all color on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.

Since the 1970's the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. And the association—now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)—continues to promote the study of Black history all year.

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