Celebrate Black History Month!

Photo of Carter G. Woodson: Robert S. Scurlock

Each February, Black History Month (also known as African American Heritage Month) celebrates the significant contributions of African-Americans throughout United States history. It is an opportunity to learn more about the past and to better understand the experiences that have shaped this nation.

But how did Black History Month begin, and why is it so important?

Carter G. Woodson, considered the “Father of Black History” was an educator, author, historian and civil rights activist who founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life in 1915.  As a researcher with degrees from the University of Chicago and Harvard University, he began The Journal of Negro History in 1916 to encourage research and publication about Black life in American history.  He rallied for support in within the Black community to promote the research results he and his peers were finding. In 1926, he developed the idea for “Negro History Week” to honor the achievements of Black Americans. In 1976, Negro History Week was renamed Black History Month and the celebration expanded to include the entire month of February. 

Learn more about the origins of Black History Month  from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History here. 

You may also view this short documentary on Carter G. Woodson  from the African American Trailblazers series produced by the Library of Virginia:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkBEjJH1j5U?list=PL-lDUJtjUmjH12CLL26iLUvqIBdyM3nii]

Carter G. Woodson – African American Trailblazers