African American Culture

The History of Black History Month

By: Emily Guiles

Black History month began in 1915, half a century after the 13th amendment abolished slavery. Black History Month is derived from “Negro History Week,” which took place in the first two weeks of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. “Negro History Week,” was the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson and Minister Jesse E. Moorland, who both also founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the Civil Rights Movement and a growing awareness of black identity, “Negro History Week,” had evolved into Black History Month and in 1976 President Gerald R Ford officially recognized Black History Month and it has been so recognized by every President thereafter.

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