What Black History Month Is and Why It’s Important


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From February 1st to March 1st, the annual observance of African American History Month, also known as Black History Month, takes place in order to recognize the adversity and accomplishments of African Americans throughout history. One might wonder, though, when and why did this celebration start? 

“Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926,” History.com states on the origins of the celebration. 

Historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland were the founders of the ASALH, which originally went by the name of Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). This organization played a huge role in promoting black Americans and inspiring others to host local celebrations, speak at lectures, and make history clubs in order to honor them. 

“The first official observance came in February 1976, from President Gerald Ford whose words established Black History Month in eloquent homage to Woodson and ASALH,” former ASALH president Daryl Michael Scott noted. 

This moment was incredibly important for all the people who had spent decades fighting for African American rights and recognition. From this point onward, all the US presidents have designated February as Black History Month and endorsed the Association’s annual theme. No matter whether they were Democratic or Republican, every president has honored this tradition and celebrated the achievements of black people. 

Ever since Black History Month was officially established, there have been “honest efforts to make black history a field of serious study and provide the public with thoughtful celebrations,” as voiced by Scott. 

Black History Month has had a significant impact on the way people view African Americans. African American history is being promoted to a wider audience and people are beginning to understand the heritage of African Americans and the roles many black folks have had in the US and elsewhere. Additionally, the struggles they went through for civil rights, human rights, and many other aspects are being highlighted through lectures, exhibits, and other various platforms. 

“If we look at ourselves as a diverse nation, I think everyone should have these conversations about their history,” Lionel Kimble, vice president of the ASALH programs, emphasized. 

Black History Month has proven itself to be an incredibly significant event, not only in America, but worldwide. This celebration of the history of African Americans has helped a variety of people acknowledge the contributions of black people to society as a whole.