Black History Month: A few things you might not know

Carter G. Woodson

In terms of socio-political significance, February is also an important month in the United States. It is Black History Month. It is a time when the country recognizes the struggles, achievements and contributions of the African-American community. In the course of researching this topic, I learned something I didn’t know before. I want to pass it along.

Black History Week was founded at a time (the 1920s) when forces actively tried to write famous African-Americans, such as Harriet Tubman and Crispus Attucks, out of the history books.

The annual observance was created by Carter G. Woodson. He was an educator who graduated from the University of Chicago and was the second black man (behind W.E.B. Du Bois) to receive a doctorate from Harvard University.

February was chosen because abolitionist, writer and orator Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln have birthdays in February.

In the mid 1970s, President Ford issued the first Official Presidential Message encouraging citizens to participate in the observance.

It wasn’t until 1986 that Congress recognized February as Black History Month. The first federal observance of Martin Luther King Day also occurred that same year.

For the first time in a long time, Chroma, ACSG, the Library and the CSE are joining together to offer programs to honor Black History. Check flyers and the Spectrum bulletin board for more information.

Milyn Villareal
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