DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Feb 8 2008

Celebrating Black History Month in America

by DCPL

Carterwoodson
Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson is known as the “Father of Black
History”.  Dr. Woodson was an author, editor, publisher, historian and promoter
of cultural diversity and democracy.  In 1915, Dr. Woodson founded the
Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASALH), “to archive
sociological and historical data, publish books, promote the study of
Afro-American life and history and encourage racial harmony through the
organization and works of clubs and schools. ”

By the early 1920’s he coordinated with Omega Psi Phi
fraternity to promote the achievements of African Americans.  In 1924, Omega Psi
Phi created Negro History and Literature Week which later became Negro Achievement
Week.  With this accomplishment the seeds were planted to promote discovering
and popularizing the truth of African American achievement amongst blacks as
well as whites.  In 1926, through Dr. Woodson’s efforts, Negro History Week was
born with the support of teachers, civic clubs, progressive white scholars and
philanthropists.  With such enthusiastic endorsement, Dr. Woodson chose the month of
February to celebrate the birthdays and accomplishments of Frederick Douglass
and Abraham Lincoln. Selecting Abraham Lincoln, the issuer of the Emancipation
Proclamation, and Frederick Douglass, a black abolitionist and leader, intertwined
the notion that African American History is American History.  This movement
spread even after Dr. Woodson’s death in 1950 to cities across the country embracing
the Black Awakening and Civil Rights movements of the 1960s that demanded
African American culture be taught in colleges and universities.  In 1976,
through the early efforts of Carter G. Woodson, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma
Theta, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), Black History Month was born.
Every President from 1976-2008 has issued a proclamation declaring February
National African American History Month.

DeKalb County Public Library welcomes all citizens to share
in this celebration through programs being offered throughout the system.

Myguail C.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

TMS February 9, 2008 at 8:55 AM

What a great post!! The information that was shared was much needed because many people, myself included, were not aware of the significance of February. Some people thought that we were given the shortest month to celebrate Black History because it wasn’t that important. With you sharing that tidbit of information, it clears the air about why the month was chosen. Now for those who think that Black History should only be celebrated during February, wake up. Black history is all day, every day and should be celebrated just like that – all day and every day. Don’t restrict your exploration or celebration of Black History and Culture to one month, celebrate it everyday.

Morning Dove February 4, 2009 at 9:12 PM

I am Native American. I have all my life wonder why the people have not had their “History Month”. We were here first. You took our life away…

Nolan R February 9, 2009 at 3:19 PM

November has been declared Native American Heritage Month. First designated in 1990 (although some states had their own celebrations beginning in 1916), it has been regularly declared as such since 1994.

http://www.loc.gov/topics/nativeamericans/index.html

More information can be found here, as well:

http://www.nps.gov/history/Nr/feature/indian/

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