By Kierra Carr, UWO Health Advocate
The month of February is known for many things, such as, Low Vision Awareness Month, American Heart Month, Creative Romance Month and Deaf History Month, but February is also known as Black History Month. Although it is talked about throughout elementary, middle and high school there are some facts that most people do not know about. Here are five facts unknown to most people.
1. Carter G. Woodson founded Black History Month in 1926. Woodson was the second African American ever to receive a degree at Harvard University.
2. Black History Month originated as “Negro History Week,” later on it was expanded to the whole month of February. Schools began observing the holiday in the 1930s when it was still the week-long celebration of Negro History Week.
3. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass both have birthdays in February. Black History Month was chosen to coincide with both of these figures who played a prominent role in African American history.
4. Not only is Black History Month celebrated in America, it also is celebrated in other countries like England and Canada, but it is celebrated in October in England.
5. The 2012 National Black History Month theme was “Black Women in American Culture and History.”
6. Every year there is a different theme for Black History Month. Past themes have included, “From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the American Community” and “Celebrate Community: A Tribue to Black Fraternal, Social, and Civic Institutions.” This year’s theme is “African Americans in Times of War”.
Bonus facts! February has a lot of important dates for African American history including:
- February 3, 1870: The 15th Amendment was passed which gave African American the right to vote.
- February 25, 1870: The first black senator, Hiram R. Revels, took his oath of office.
- February 12, 1909: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded. This organization was founded by a group of African Americans and white people that were in New York City.