Black History Month has began and with the first celebrations before us, we wanted to share a little history on the origins of the month. Check out these interesting facts about Black History Month you might not have known.
Negro History Week
One thing you’ll always hear black people complain about is that Black History Month is the shortest month of the year – February. What many seem to believe is that the month was given to us by white people because it has the shortest number of days. Contrary to popular belief, this wasn’t the case.
Carter G. Woodson, a black man, created the initial idea of what would become Black History Month. Around the 1920, he came up with the idea of Negro History Week, a week he decided to put in February.
Frederick Douglass & Abraham Lincoln
Now that you know Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week, you might wonder why he chose February. He chose February because the month housed the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Douglass was a former slave and became a leading movement for the abolitionist cause while Lincoln, the 16th president started the Civil War, a war that would lead to the ending of slavery.
Black History Month Didn’t Exist until 1976
Negro History Week started in the 1920s and would continue on for 50 years until Gerald Ford became president. After Richard Nixon resigned, Gerald Ford took office and many people doubted the capabilities of the incoming president. Although Negro History Week was only one week in the month of February, it was Ford who decided to expand it to the whole month.
BHM Isn’t Only a US Custom
While many might think that Black History Month is only celebrated in the United States, you’d be wrong. Blacks have been contributing to different countries and cultures for centuries and Canada and the U.K. are definitely aware of that. Canada celebrates Black History Month is February, just like here in the United States, while the U.K. dedicates the month of October to black history.
In the comments below, share some interesting Black History Month facts you think most people don’t know!