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Black History Month

Feb 01, 2021 by Eileen Adler

“Won’t it be wonderful when black history and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book.
Just U.S. history.” - Maya Angelou. 


"There is always light, if only we're brave enough to see it. If only we're brave enough to be it."
Amanda Gorman, I
naugural Poet

The idea of celebrating the achievements of African Americans goes back a century, when in September1915, Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson, PhD (“The Father of Black History”) and minister Jesse E. Moorland formulated the idea of a “Negro History Week” explaining “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” In 1976, their acknowledgments became a month during the civil rights movement when President Gerald Ford made this official. Why February? Because this month is the birthday of two important leaders: President Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14).   

Each year since its inception, a focus has been selected and this year it is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.” Earlier themes included 2014 - Civil Rights in America, 2015 - A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture, 2016 - Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memory, 2017 - The Crisis in Black Education, 2018 - African Americans in Times of War, 2019 - Black Migrations.

What we know to be true is that the past influences and thus informs today and the future. Why should we care about this? The past is not dead, nor should it be forgotten, achievements inspire us, and history is our future. Read, Study, Learn.

“If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.” —Beyonce Knowles