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Black History Month

Black History Month, by definition, is a month long remembrance of important people and events in black history. It is celebrated in the month of February in the United States and Canada, and the month of October in the United Kingdom. Black History Month was first established in 1976 by the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. It was in all actuality an expansion of Negro History Week, which first came into play in 1926 by a man named Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was born to parents who were former slaves. He spent much of his childhood working in a coal mine in Kentucky, but finally enrolled in high school when he turned twenty. Within two years he received his diploma and went on to Harvard. There he earned a Ph. D and made the disturbing discovery that African Americans were rarely mentioned in his text books. They were only recognized as being inferior, never for their accomplishments in society. In turn he established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, and so began his struggle for Africans Americans place in History.

Woodson was greatly rewarded in his struggle with Negro History Week. He chose the second week of February because it contains the birthdays of two very important men involved in liberating African Americans from persecution. These men were Mr. Frederick Douglas and Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Then during the initial rise of the Black Power Movement in the 1960's the African American Community expressed their belief that Woodson's week of recognition was not sufficient. In turn they declared the entire month of February as Black History Month. February has gone on through the years to contain not only the birthday of those two great men, but also the birthdays and historical markings of other people and events so dear to the African American community. For example, Civil rights leader W.E.B. DuBois was born, the 15th amendment allowing blacks to vote was passed, Mr. Hiram R. Revels, the first black senator, was sworn into office, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded, and the unfortunate death of Black Nationalism militant leader, Malcolm X, who was shot to death by three Black Muslims. Black History Month represents a time of change, diversity, and equality.