Every year from February 1st to March 1st we celebrate Black History Month. It began as a way of remembering important people and events of the African Diaspora. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State on January 2nd to February 28, 1970. Six years later, Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers, both great and small, when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month in 1976 during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. He urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”.
Today it is as important as it ever was. It is a month not only to remember important people and events but to also celebrate diversity, culture, and to acknowledge how far we have come and how far we still need to go. It is also important as ever to remember that although Black History Month is only celebrated in February, Black history is American history and we remember and celebrate this everyday of the year. Every year since 1976, Black History Month has a specific designated theme. The Black History 2021 theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity”. It explores the African diaspora, and the spread of Black families across the United States.
Every year we celebrate Black History Month we should remember, celebrate and strive to educate ourselves on the current happenings of society because Black history is American history and what we do now will Impact America’s future.
Be sure to check out Columbia’s Black Student Union https://events.colum.edu/group/black_student_union for events in the future or to learn more and get involved.