There are many "First" in terms of African-American achievements in History..some never reached the books from yonder years.I've always found it disturbing for a History of a people so important in building America to be given a month to highlight their achievements. I do understand the necessity.Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month in America, is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February and the United Kingdom in October.
Black History Month began in 1926 in America,when historian Carter G.Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week". This week was chosen because it marked the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.Woodson created the holiday with the hope that it eventually be eliminated when black history became fundamental to American history.Negro History Week was met with enthusiastic response; it prompted the creation of black history clubs, an increase in interest among teachers,and interest from progressive whites. Negro History Week grew in popularity throughout the following decades, with mayors across the United States endorsing it as a holiday.
In 1976, the federal government acknowledged the expansion of Black History Week to Black History Month by the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University (Feb.1969) and the first celebration was February 1970.Six years later during the bicentennial,the expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was recognized by the U.S. government. Gerald Ford urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.
Black History Month was first celebrated in the United Kingdom in 1987.In 1995,Canada officially recognized February as Black History Month. In 2008,Senator Donald Oliver moved to have the Senate officially recognize Black History Month, which was unanimously approved.
Further reading: http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/about.html
And we've come a long,long way from...
I certainly can appreciate the debate each year around this time_Do we really need a special month to highlight African American achievement in History? Isn't Black History after all_American History? It was a step forward in 1926 and much needed.Black History is still in the making.....
...the many institutions that sprung up to educate Blacks all across America_
My Grandmother's home was next to Mary Allen College_so I literally grew up in a college environment that promoted excellence in all walks of Life.And,today Excellence continues in many forms.I was so proud of Leonard Cooper on this week's Teen Jeopardy Tournament 2013_with his win as Champion. I've been a fan of JEOPARDY since 1964_haven't missed many episodes!!!
And check out his "gutsy"move_AWESOME!!!
And in the same week_in the "College Tournament"_another Southerner attending a dual program (high school & college) at University of North Texas became the youngest to win_a young Asian girl,Monica Thieu.
So,the point is African-Americans and other minority groups are part of "Mainstream America"in 2013.Only 28 Days to share a history of accomplished Americans of Color_Really? Shouldn't it be just American History 101?
"Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise."
~Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise," And Still I Rise