Early in the 19th century, after the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 13th Amendment took place the 19first steps to commemorating black history began. The history behind the creation of black history goes farther back than that of the most known African American who pioneered the Civil Rights Movement. Black history month began in the early 20th century, 1915 to be specific by a “Harvard historian named Carter G. Woodson and prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland. This was originally an event which was supposed to take place the second week of “February to coincide with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass”. During this week of February, the event caught the attention of several schools and communities all over the nation, which made people organize and host several different activities, such as history clubs, performances, and lectures.
Black history month after it gained nationwide recognition among local schools and communities, it began gaining recognition among local and state governments all over the country. This was mainly due to the fact that several decades after Black History was implemented, the Civil Rights movement began to take place in the United States around the mid 1950’s. This movement caused the Black History Week to evolve from just one week in February to the whole the entire month in order to commemorate, and push the awareness of the accomplishments that black people have done throughout the century after the Emancipation Proclamation.
By the end of the Civil Rights movement in 1968, Black History Month was being celebrated every year by campuses and local throughout the country. However, it wasn’t until 1976 that Republican President Gerald “officially recognized Black History Month” on a Federal level. Gerald Ford stated that public should ‘seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history’.
In 2018, even though it has been almost a century since the creation Black History; the ideals and values of why we celebrate such a momentous event rests in every American in the United States.
Author: Angel Veloz, Sabre88 LLC
Editor’s note: Original Sources