The 101: Black History Month

When people think of February, they often think of Valentine’s Day. Although this holiday may be important to some people, there is another significant aspect of February that needs to be recognized.

February is Black History Month. If you are reading this, chances are that you have heard about Black History Month for as long as you can remember.

Even though African Americans have been in the United States since colonial times, their achievements were not recognized until the 1920’s.

Even though people have heard about Black History Month, a lot of people are not aware that it involves more people than Martin Luther King Jr. (even though he is an important part of this month).

The recognition of black history began in 1926 and was first known as “Negro History Week.” The advancement to Black History Month can be credited to Carter G. Woodson.

Although his name is not commonly recognized, he earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and recognized that African Americans were not included in history books.

When the time came that they were recognized in books, African Americans were portrayed as insignificant minorities.

In an attempt to give African Americans the recognition they deserve, Woodson established the Association for the study of Negro Life and History in 1915.

In correspondence with the association, Woodson established the Journal of Negro History.

This led to him initiate the recognition of Negro History Week in 1926.

His purpose was to recognize the contributions and successes that African Americans have achieved.

The celebration during the second week of February was chosen because of Frederick Douglass’ and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays.

Both of them made significant contributions to the African American population, causing them to earn the recognitions.

Although there were several other individuals who created milestones in African American history such as W.E.B DuBois and Malcom X, this page of the newspaper is not nearly large enough to list all of the significant achievements that African Americans have accomplished.

I didn’t only choose this topic for the 101 to inform you on how Black History Month started, I am writing because African Americans do not get the recognition they deserve, and in some circumstances are still looked at on a lower level than other races.

It may sound cliché, but it is disheartening that people still judge their peers based on the color of their skin.

I can’t believe that in the year 2014 I still hear people making racial jokes and remarks.

At some point during our childhood, we were all taught the “golden rule” of treating others the way you want to be treated, and we should still abide by this.

If everyone starts respecting each other for their accomplishments and personalities rather than their external appearances, we might all be happier.