Why do we celebrate Black History month?
In February 1926, Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week in Washington, D.C., the precursor to what has become what we know as Black History Month.
Carter Woodson was the second Black American to receive a Ph.D. in history from Harvard—following the influential social maverick W.E.B. Du Bois by a few years. To Woodson, the Black experience was far too important to be left to a small group of academics. Woodson believed that his role and purpose was to use Black history and culture as a vital weapon in the struggle for racial uplift. By 1916, Woodson had moved to D.C. and established the “Association for the Study of Negro Life and Culture,” an organization whose goal was to make Black history accessible to a wider audience. Woodson to create Negro History Week in 1926, to ensure that schoolchildren would be exposed to Black history. Woodson chose the second week of February to celebrate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Woodson hoped to build upon the wave of creativity that was at the forefront of the 1920’s cultural movement and to further stimulate interest through Negro History Week. He had two goals: One was to use history to prove to White America that Black people had played important roles in the creation of America and thereby deserved to be treated equally as citizens. By celebrating heroic Black figures—be they inventors, entertainers, or soldiers—Woodson essentially hoped to prove our worth, and by proving our worth, he believed that equality would soon follow. Read more here.
This February, we’re excited to be adding many events that are happening in our Michigan community around Black History.
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