Because the focus of our research is on abolition as well as the importance of African Americans throughout the month of February we will be making regular posts on Black History. It seems fitting that the first post relate to the history and origins of the annual event of Black History.
The origins of Black History Month begin with Black History Week which is credited to the son of a slave, Carter G. Woodson (b. December 18, 1875). Because both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were born in February, it was selected for the commemoration of Black History. In order to preserve African American history and culture Woodson started the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915 to publish information regarding black people and their history. He would later found the Journal of Negro Studies in 1916. Woodson’s aim was not the education of only black people, but all people regarding the importance of the contributions black people offer to everyone.
In 1976 Black History Week formally became Black History Month. Worth noting is that since 1926 the annual celebration has also highlighted different themes. The current theme for Black History Month in 2012 is Black Women in American Culture and History. This is fitting as it not only highlights an aspect of racial history but also gender history which can sometimes be minimized.