Originally known as Negro History Week, Black History Month is celebrated during the month of February in both America and Canada. Historian Carter G. Woodson, also known as the “Father of Black History,” founded Negro History Week in 1926 and established the week to honor the past and current efforts and hard work of African Americans to society. The week was extended to a month in 1976.
It is said that Woodson chose the second week of February specifically to commemorate the births of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas as these two men made significant changes in history for African-Americans. Plus, because of the United States Senate passing the 15th Amendment during the month of February.
Though there has been controversy with Black History Month, it is still important to highlight those who have made so many things possible for African-Americans today, and thank them for their hard work and efforts.
Without them, many things wouldn’t be possible. Here are a few reasons as to why we celebrate Black History Month:
1. To Change the World’s View of African Americans.
Woodson wanted change the world’s perception of blacks. He thought that creating Negro History Week would assist in this effective change. Recognizing African-Americans who changed society, would allow others the opportunity to become knowledgeable of the contributions to society and culture; it breaks down any misrepresentation or stereotypes of black culture.
2. To Promote Unity Worldwide.
During this month we celebrate and honor the works of African Americans. It also signifies unity as we cut across racial and geographical barriers. We celebrate our rich traditions of African Americans and honor those who positively contributed to society.
3. To Say “Thank You.”
This is a time when we unite as a people and reflect on our history and ancestry. As we remember our past we say “thank you” to those who came before us. We teach the younger generations history through stories and we are able to know more and become proud of our culture.