Black History originally began in 1926 and was known as “Negro History Week” later to become “Black History Month.” Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who earned a Ph.D. from Harvard, is highly credited for the celebration of Black History. During his studies, he came to the realization that history books pretty much ignored the black American population, but when mentioned, it reflected the Population in an inferior position.
To change this, Dr. Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now known as the Assoication of Afro-American Life History) in 1915. In 1916, he founded Journal of Negro History. Ten years later, Negro History Week was launched during the second week of February to bring attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history. The decision to have this the second week of February was because of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, who both greatly influenced the black American population.
The month of February itself has quite a number of other influential dates including: the birthdate of W.E.B. DuBois, co-founder of the NAACP, the 15th Amendment was passed in 1870 granting blacks the right to vote, in 1909 the NAACP was founded by a group of concerned black and white citizens in New York City and a group of black Greensboro, NC college students began a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in 1960.
Every day this month we’ll be featuring a profile on an African American making a difference in our community.