50.2 F
Bellingham
Sunday, May 31, 2020

This week in black history: The history of Black History Month

By Vanessa Murphy

“If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”

Carter G. Woodson, the accredited founder of Black History Month.

 

The beginning of Black History Month:

Although Carter G. Woodson did not explicitly start Black History Month, he made the foundation for what it is built on.

Carter G. Woodson, the accredited founder of black history month

Woodson, a 20th-century academic, wanted to preserve a month of remembrance: to respect the traditions and cultures of past African Americans and to honor those people who contributed to the important history of African Americans.

Woodson graduated with his master’s in history from the University of Chicago and earned a Ph.D. from Harvard.

Through his academic years, Woodson noticed history textbooks neglected to include African Americans’ history in the United States.

As a result, he established The Journal of Negro History in 1916, in which he and other scholars set forth to write about scientific markings and achievements of those of African descent.

In addition to preserving African American history, this effort fought against misconceptions and strengthened the African American community through common historical knowledge, celebrations, traditions and interests.

 

Why February:

In response to growing pride among African Americans, Woodson teamed up with the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1926 to declare the second week of February Negro History Week.

February was selected as the month because both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were born during this month. Both men had made great strides for African American freedom and equality, and many people had already begun celebrating their birthdays as important parts of African American social movements.

Although certain cities had already begun observing the month of February in honor of African American history, in 1976, President Gerald Ford officially declared Black History Month a national observance.

Ninety-one years after the first unofficial celebration of African American history, and 42 years after the first presidential declaration of Black History Month, we celebrate Black History Month this year.

 

Check out these links for more on Black History Month:

http://www.blackpast.org/perspectives/history-black-history-month

http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month

http://time.com/4197928/history-black-history-month/

 

Every week in February, a Western Front reporter will discuss a person or event important  to black history in recognition of Black History Month.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3,960FansLike
1,241FollowersFollow
5,462FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

Behind the systems: WWU Newman Center forced resignation of student employee after learning of same-sex partner

Student says she was told to break up with her girlfriend or quit her job

Behind the systems: Former members frustrated over student’s resignation, double standards for dealing with sexual activity

Former members say rules regarding moral conduct were not applied equally This is...

Resident advisers hold open forum with university officials to discuss concerns

Written by: Bram Briskorn and Questen Inghram Over 300 people packed into Arntzen Hall, room 100 as if it were...

Latest News

Survey shows Whatcom County’s small businesses are struggling

Outside of The Shakedown in 2018. // Photo by Lili McMurtrey By...

Mental health and the COVID conundrum

People living with mood disorders may find it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Social distancing due to...

Mix drink to-go kits are the top buy at La Fiamma Wood Fire Pizza

A pizza and Moscow Mule mixing kit from La Fiamma Pizza, who are conducting carry-out services. Displayed on the deck of...

Western professors’ recommended reads

By Macy Adkinson For those seeking adventure in a time of uncertainty, recreational reading...

Bellingham mask sewing effort continues with Molly’s Sewing Machine Service

Sewing machine repairwoman and seamstress Molly Chambers in her downtown Bellingham studio. // Photo courtesy of Molly’s Sewing Machine Service

More Articles Like This