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Black History Month: Its Origins

Posted on 27 February 2020

Black History Month: Its Origins

February means different things to different people. To many black people, it is Black History Month, a celebratory recognition of the important role Black people have in history. 

Black history month originated in 1976 in the United States. It was created as a way of appreciating the adversities and successes of African Americans; it is now widely celebrated and recognized all over the world. 

Formerly known as Negro History Week, then Negro History Month, then Black History Month; 

Negro History Week was created in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association of the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be Negro History Week. 

This week was chosen because of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (February 12th) and Fredrick Douglas’ birthday (February 14th), both of which were celebrated by black communities since the late 19th century.  

It is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada and celebrated in October in Netherlands and United Kingdom. This year, it is celebrated from 1st February – 29th February. 

For most people, Black History Month is a time to reflect on the past, the present of the future of Black history, a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black people all over the world.  

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