February is Black History Month! An annual observance of important people and events in the history of African-American culture and history.
We would like to share 6 fun facts about Black History, provided by Trey Greene of the International Business Times:
1) Black History Month Started As A Weeklong Celebration
In 1926, the Association for the Study of Negro Life sponsored a national Negro History Week, with the celebration falling in the second week of February. This period was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass.
2. By The 1960s, Negro History Week Had Largely Evolved Into A Monthlong Celebration
In the 1960s — with the added influence of the civil rights movement — several college campuses, schools and communities across the U.S. had expanded Negro History Week into Black History Month.
3. Black History Month Was Officially Recognized In 1976
In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month, calling it a moment for the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since 1976, the month of February has been recognized by every president as Black History Month.
4. Every Year Has A Theme
Since 1928, every Black History week or month has had a theme that recognizes pivotal events or topics that should be highlighted during the year’s celebration. The theme for 2014 is “Civil Rights in America.”
5. The Observance Isn’t Technically Called “Black History Month”
Since 1996, every U.S. President has proclaimed February simply as “National African American History Month.”
6. The United States Isn’t The Only Country To Celebrate Black History Month.
Canada and the United Kingdom also have annual Black History Month celebrations. Like the United States’, Canada’s falls in February. But the U.K.’s occurs in October.