Wednesday, February 15, 2017
On the Origins of Black History Month
On the Origins of Black History Month: Dating back to the 1920s, Black History Month originally began as "Negro History Week." Carter G. Woodson, a black historian who was only the 2nd African American to graduate with a Ph.D. from Harvard (after W. E. B. Du Bois), first proposed the idea to coincide with the birthdays of President Lincoln (February 12th) and Frederick Douglass (February 14th). And because Douglass was one of the first African Americans to visit the White House (with Lincoln in 1862), the concept of "Negro History Week" made a great deal of socio-cultural sense. Although "Negro History Week" did not officially become Black History Month until the 1970s, its primary purpose remained the same. And that was to teach history through biography. In other words, school children (of all backgrounds) ought to be made aware of the special contributions that black Americans have made to U.S. History.