Black History Month has received official recognition in Canada and the United States, however, it is now spreading across the world, with the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands getting involved. With that in mind, we are going to reveal more about observing this month and the history that is behind it.
Learn about Black History Month
Black History Month started as a method of remembrance with regard to the vital events and people in the history of the African diaspora. Today, it is an important month of both remembrance, recognition, and education. We look at the incredible figures in Black History, as well as raising awareness about the issues that are still present in society in terms of racism and the rights that Black people have. Education is at the core of Black History Month, and it is a great opportunity for people from all walks of life to broaden their horizons and expand their understanding.
History of Black History Month
Black History Month can be traced back to “Negro History Week,” which was created by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926 alongside the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. A week in February was chosen because it coincided with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass (14th of Feb) and Abraham Lincoln ( 12th of Feb), and both dates have long been celebrated in black communities.
It was not until 1970 that Black History Month as we know it today was created. It was first proposed in 1969 at the Kent State University in America by the Black United Students and black educators. The first celebration took place the following year, and in six years’ time, it was being celebrated across the entire country. This happened when Gerald Ford, who was President at the time, recognized Black History Month during the United States Bicentennial.
During his speech, he said that Americans should:
Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history
After this, Black History Month spread to other parts of the world, with the United Kingdom first celebrating in 1987.
How to observe Black History Month
There are a number of different ways that you can meaningfully celebrate Black History Month. One thing that we would definitely encourage you to do is find out more about black history, both in general but also in regard to your local area.
Why not purchase something from a black-owned business during Black History Month? You can also show your love for these businesses across social media? Supporting tenacious and passionate black entrepreneurs is one of the best ways to give back to the black community.
You can also lend your support to black non-profits. Examples include SisterLove, NAACP, and Black Girls Code.
Also, why not spend a little bit of time learning a little bit more about the unsung heroes of Black History? Do a little bit of digging to find out about members of the black community who made an effort to speak up for their people and fight for their rights. These people should be honored during Black History Month.