Black History Month celebrates the culture and heritage of African Americans, and significant events that are a part of our country’s history.
February was chosen primarily because the birthdates of both abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln are celebrated in February. As Douglass claimed his birthday was February 14, and President Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, it was thought fitting to celebrate Black History Month in February. Lincoln was influential in the emancipation of slaves, and Douglass, who was a prominent leader in the abolitionist movement, was a former slave. Both Douglass and Lincoln fought to end slavery.
Carter G. Woodson, known as the “father of Black history,” was the first to promote and educate people about Black history and culture in the 1920’s. Woodson was a historian and the president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). He taught and educated everyone around him so people would understand the suffering of his African Americans.
The idea of Black History week eventually grew in acceptance, and by the end of the 1960s, black History Week had evolved into Black History Month. For years of racial injustice, inequality, racism, and protests resulted in Black History Month.