Many people associate months with national holidays. Those celebrating festivities can drag the excitement for the whole month, when the holiday is within the 24 hours of the assigned date. But what happens when a whole month is dedicated to a cause instead of 24 hours? February is mainly known for Valentines Day, a day of love and appreciation to those around you. What many don’t know is the fact that that span of 28 days is actually black history month. Black history month is a government ensued realization to commend and appreciate the contributions that African Americans have made for this country. This month is also a time to reflect and be mindful of the continued struggle for racial justice.
Carter G. Woodson is the man behind the celebration, who believed that it’s essential for young African Americans to understand and be proud of their heritage. He realized that the education system shares little information about African Americans’ accomplishments throughout history. This leads him to become the founder of the currently named ‘The Association for the Study of African American Life and History’. In 1926 Woodson Proposed a national “Negro History Week” for students to learn everything about black history. During the height of the Civil Rights movement, the history week was expanded into Black History Month by president Gerald Ford. Woodson chose February in tribute to those who helped abolish slavery. This month includes National Freedom Day, on the first, being the anniversary of the approval of the 13th amendment. It also coincides with Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’s birthday.
Each February since 1976, the president at that time picks a theme for the month. The 2021 theme for Black History Month is Representation, Identity, and Diversity. This month is supposed to be spent celebrating all the achievements of the African American community and getting recognized for their role in the United States. This month has been celebrated with families, schools, and all around the U.S.. The event inspired many schools and communities to get together and organize local celebrations. They also decided to host lectures and clubs to help spread happiness to those being appreciated for the month.
As February comes to an end, we are finishing the celebrations. With all the racial inequality and fighting for rights, that doesn’t mean we have to stop doing it. Racial inequality is still a problem currently and nothing will change without speaking out about it. We take this month to continue to appreciate the African American community and all they do for the U.S.. Black History month is a remembrance and we will continue to celebrate it for as long as we can. We look forward to next year’s theme for 2022 Black History Month.