What is Black History Month and Why Do We Celebrate it?

Written By Kassidy Shaw

It’s February which means it’s now Black History Month. For centuries African Americans were seen as less than, because of this inequity, we now celebrate African American or Black history month to honor the accomplishments made by people of color. Countries around the world including Canada, Ireland, and the United kingdom have different months dedicated to black history.

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History had originally created what was known as “Negro Week” in 1926. This week was to celebrate the people who helped with African Americans’ rights. Schools and other nationwide communities came together to praise influential leaders like Abraham Linclon and Fredrick Douglass. The 1960s was when the Civil rights movement began to gain more recognition and because of this, Negro History Week was transistioning into Black History Month.

In 1976 Gerald Ford, who was president at the time, deemed February as Black History month. After this, all of the following presidents agreed and officially designated it the same way. Black History Month is a way for everyone (specifically non-black people) to understand the important roles African

Americans had throughout U.S History. Black History has a different theme every year too! 2021’s official theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” acknowledging all of the different black families in America.

Last year’s theme was “African Americans and the Vote” in remembrance of the 15th Amendment which allowed Black men to vote. Every year we look back through history to learn about Civil rights activists and into the future to see how much they did, and continue to do for America.

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