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Why is February Black History Month?

February was chosen as Black History Month because it coincides with the birthdays of two important figures in African American history: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States, and he played a key role in ending slavery in the country. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, which declared that all slaves in Confederate-held territory were free. Lincoln’s birthday is on February 12th.

Frederick Douglass was a renowned abolitionist, writer, and orator who escaped slavery and became one of the leading voices in the fight against slavery and for civil rights. He was born into slavery in Maryland in 1818, but escaped to freedom in 1838. Douglass is known for his powerful speeches and writings, which continue to inspire people today. His birthday is on February 14th.

The origins of Black History Month can be traced back to 1926, when historian Carter G. Woodson established “Negro History Week” to promote the achievements of black Americans and to encourage the study of African American history. Woodson chose the second week of February for this observance to coincide with the birthdays of Lincoln and Douglass.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month, urging Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since then, Black History Month has been a time to celebrate the contributions and achievements of African Americans in fields such as science, literature, art, music, politics, and more.

Today, Black History Month is celebrated not only in the United States, but also in other countries around the world as a way to recognize and honor the important contributions of black people throughout history.

Why is February Black History Month

How to celebrate Black History Month?

There are many ways to celebrate Black History Month, and the best way to do so will depend on your interests, resources, and available time. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Learn about black history: One of the most important ways to celebrate Black History Month is to learn about the history, contributions, and achievements of black people throughout history. Read books, watch movies or documentaries, and visit museums or historical sites related to black history.
  2. Attend cultural events: Many cities and communities host events and celebrations during Black History Month, such as concerts, art exhibits, and poetry readings. Attend these events to learn more about black culture and celebrate the accomplishments of black people.
  3. Support black-owned businesses: You can celebrate Black History Month by supporting black-owned businesses. Shop at local black-owned stores or restaurants, and recommend these businesses to your friends and family.
  4. Volunteer: Look for volunteer opportunities that support black communities, such as tutoring programs, after-school programs, or community centers.
  5. Discuss black history with others: Start conversations with friends, family members, and colleagues about black history and the significance of Black History Month. This can help raise awareness and understanding of the contributions and achievements of black people.
  6. Amplify black voices: Use social media to amplify the voices of black creators, activists, and leaders. Share their work and stories with your followers to help promote their messages and work.

Remember, Black History Month is a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of black people, but it’s also a time to reflect on the ongoing struggle for racial justice and equity. So, make sure to center the voices and experiences of black people, and use this month to deepen your understanding of the history and ongoing struggle for racial justice.

Why is February Black History Month

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2023 calendars