Every February is dedicated to Black History Month, honoring African Americans’ struggles and triumphs throughout U.S. history, including the civil rights movement and their arts, culture, politics, law, sports, entertainment, and many other fields.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson graduated from the University of Chicago, an entrepreneur, activist, author, and educator, with a doctorate from Harvard, he’s also known as the “Father of Black History Month.”. In 1926 Dr. Woodson created “Negro History Week” (now known as Black History Month) to instill in Blacks a true value of self-based in a real and accurate study of Black Life and History. He believes that if Black students were trained and educated in a world that taught the significant Black contributions to the civilized world (in the areas of government, economics, science, politics, mathematics, and arts), that it would not only create in them a love for self and humanity but that it would also make them better citizens.
The month February was chosen for this celebration because it coincided with Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’s birthdays, both of which the black communities had celebrated together for centuries– as philanthropists, scholars, and educators stepped forward to endorse the effort. Other countries worldwide, including Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Netherland, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.
We would all agree that Barack Obama’s election to the presidency was an event of major historical significance. And now we’ve got our very first female Black and Indian American Vice President, Kamala Harris. We have understood black history as a tale of perseverance and slow change in the face of overwhelming injustice, a tale of hope and opportunity in a world marked by real and enduring racial limitations.
So here we are today in 2021, 95 years from the beginning of Negro History Week. Every February, we are reminded of the same characters…Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Frederick Douglas, etc., people who played a significant role in Black history. Dr. Carter G. Woodson hoped Negro History week would encourage us to work together to ensure the Black society is equal to other cultures, politically, socially, academically, and economically. He was a perfect example of what he tried to achieve in all of us.
Dr. Woodson knew that people’s power lies in their understanding of who they are and their ability to pass on that knowledge to their young. In other words, your history is your network of roots that plant you firmly on your foundation so that you can stand tall and strong with your head held high. Without studying your history, who will remember your father, grandfather, and the rest of your ancestors? Without valuing your history and passing on a tradition to study it, who will remember you when you are gone? Perhaps the best reason to celebrate black history month is to celebrate your worth. HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH!