Black History Month was created in 1915 to recognize black people’s struggles and accomplishments throughout the years. Historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which is how Black History Month got its origins. In 1975-1976, President Ford issued a message to “recognize the important contribution made to our nation’s life and culture by black citizens.” The group now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History sponsored a National Negro Week in 1926. As time progressed, states and cities recognized Negro History Week, and eventually, the week-long holiday evolved into the holiday known as Black History Month.
2020 has made Black History Month an even more important holiday with all the rioting and protests happening. The recent spread of Black Lives Matter (BLM) is bringing to light the injustice and racial discrimination that many African American people face daily.
Celebrated from the first of February and ending on March first, Black History Month reminds us that while there are still many things to do to reach equality, we have made progress from when this holiday originated. Every year, the month has a theme. 2021’s theme for Black History Month is “Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity”. The theme explores the African American diaspora and spread of Black families over the United States.
Many people have been influenced by black and African American people whether they realize it or not. Actors and actresses, singers and songwriters, and many activists have helped people through tough times or helped them to relate to other people. Nathan Montoya, a freshman at Chesterton High School, had some input on this.
“Black History Month is very important to me because of the highly influential people in the media that I look up to. A common example is Martin Luther King Jr. and people that I personally relate to more are XXXTentacion, J. Cole, and Juice WRLD because their music has helped me through tough times, and knowing that they understand what I’m going through helps a lot. Even if they don’t know me personally, it means a lot to me. It sucks that people with such great talent passed so young. I try to learn more about influential black people and spread the word about the injustice going around recently,” Montoya stated.
Black History Month is an important holiday and should be celebrated every month instead of just once a year. Learning more about influential African Americans and black people in the media and history books could benefit you in future endeavors and you could educate yourself more on what is happening recently.