Black History Month Facts

February is Black History Month. Each February offers us an opportunity to learn about the contributions of African Americans to our nation. The theme for 2023 is Black Health and Wellness where we specifically honor African Americans in the medical and healthcare arena.

The beginnings of Black History Month began as a result of Carter G. Woodson, who has been given the title of the “Father of Black History”. By 1926, he was working to make sure that there was a designation of time for Black History. Negro History Week, was the first real focus on black culture and honors for black efforts in all areas across the United States. Black History Month morphed from Negro History Week.

It took 50 years for Black History Month to be formally recognized. Gerald R. Ford called upon our nation’s citizens to recognize “the neglected accomplishments of Black Americans.” Barack Obama reiterated and re-established the importance of experiencing Black History Month as a way of strengthening America.

February was chosen as Black History month as it contains the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. This seemed the perfect month to celebrate both emancipation and the accomplishments of African Americans past and present.

Here are some ways to learn and grow in your knowledge of the influence and impact of African Americans:

  1. Read or listen to the amazing stories on black history through National Public Radio.
  2. Visit your local bookstore; most have special displays on black history.
  3. Just Google it! Read up on historical black figures.
  4. Listen to famous speeches by a host of black Americans throughout our history.
  5. Use your library to select books that you can share as a family.
  6. Volunteer in the name of Black History Month and begin a tradition of honoring those who have made a difference in the face of incredible challenges and adversity.

Make Black History Month purposeful and meaningful for you and your family.