Five Fascinating Facts About Black History Month | Front Range Community College Blog (2024)

Five Fascinating Facts About Black History Month | Front Range Community College Blog (1)

February is Black History Month, a great opportunity to celebrate African Americans’ many achievements throughout U.S. history. Since 1976, this annual celebration has recognized the contributions of black Americans to our country.

Here are five important things to know about this meaningful commemoration:

It Started as a Week.

In 1915, Harvard-educated historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse Moorland founded what’s now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. That organization established Negro History Week in 1926, which strived to inspire schools and communities to organize local celebrations and host performances and lectures.

Carter Woodson: The Father of Black History.

Woodson was tireless in his lobbying to establish Negro History Week as a program to encourage the study of African-American history. He dedicated his career to the subject and wrote many books on the topic. His most famous volume is The Mis-Education of the Negro (1933), which has become required reading at numerous colleges and universities.

February Was Chosen for a Reason.

Negro History Week was the second week of February. Why? To coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. President Lincoln, of course, was the 16th U.S. president and paved the way for the abolition of slavery with his Emancipation Proclamation. Douglass was an escaped slave turned activist and author, and a prominent leader in the abolitionist movement to end slavery.

A Week Becomes a Month.

The civil rights movement of the 1960s helped elevate Negro History Week to national prominence… and turn it into a month-long celebration. As a result, in 1976, President Gerald Ford made things official, proclaiming February to be Black History Month.

Honoring African-American Men and Women.

You don’t have to look far to notice the many impressive achievements of black men and women in the fields of science, politics, law, sports, entertainment, and many others. Here are some of the most notable names you’re probably hearing celebrated this month (and Biography’s website does a wonderful job of profiling many others):

Want to learn more about Black History Month?
Visit History’s website for more information!

Five Fascinating Facts About Black History Month | Front Range Community College Blog (2024)

FAQs

Five Fascinating Facts About Black History Month | Front Range Community College Blog? ›

Black History Month was first proposed by Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later, in February 1970.

What are 5 interesting facts about Black History Month? ›

Learn about 10 Black History Month facts you may not know.
  • Black History Month Began as Negro History Week. ...
  • Black Students Protested for Black History Month. ...
  • February Honors Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. ...
  • Black History Month Themes Change Yearly. ...
  • Civil Rights Leaders Popularized Black History Month.

What are 5 important black history events? ›

African American HistoryEvents
  • The Charleston Cigar Factory Strike (1945-1946) ...
  • Nashville Operation Open City Movement (1961-1964) ...
  • UCLA Shootout between the Panthers and US (1969) ...
  • The Chicago Sit-In (1943) ...
  • Royal Ice Cream Sit-In (1957) ...
  • The First Black Power Conference (1967) ...
  • The Read Drug Store Sit-Ins (1955)

What college was the first to celebrate Black History Month? ›

Black History Month was first proposed by Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later, in February 1970.

Why is Black History Month interesting? ›

Every February, the U.S. honors the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who have helped shape the nation. Black History Month celebrates the rich cultural heritage, triumphs and adversities that are an indelible part of our country's history.

What are three black history facts? ›

William Tucker, son of indentured servants from Great Britain, was the first recorded African child to be born in the colonies in 1624. Vermont was the first colony to ban slavery in 1777. In the 1770s, a Quaker named Anthony Benezet created the first school for African American children.

What is the 3 5 black history? ›

Although the Constitution did not refer directly to slaves, it did not ignore them entirely. Article one, section two of the Constitution of the United States declared that any person who was not free would be counted as three-fifths of a free individual for the purposes of determining congressional representation.

Who is the most important in Black History Month? ›

Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks are often elevated—and with good reason. These figures made contributions to Black history and, by extension, American history, that cannot be overstated.

What can I say about Black History Month? ›

It is a reminder that despite the struggles African Americans have faced, they have managed to make a lasting impact on our world. Black History Month is also a time to reflect on the progress African Americans have made and the work still left to be done for full equality and justice.

Why is Black History Month important in schools? ›

Black History Month encourages us to learn about the true history of America and strive for a better world. During February, we study the past and look forward to a future of social equity for all.

Who started Black History Month? ›

Carter G. Woodson was a scholar whose dedication to celebrating the historic contributions of Black people led to the establishment of Black History Month, marked every February since 1976.

Who was the first black person to go to college? ›

In 1799, Washington and Lee University admitted John Chavis who is noted as the first African American on record to attend college. However, the first African American to have earned a bachelor's degree from an American university, Alexander Lucius Twilight, graduated from Middlebury College in 1823.

Who was the first black woman to attend college? ›

Her home in Washington D.C. "Mary Jane Patterson not only was the first black woman in the United States to earn a college degree, she did it by spurning the usual courses for women at Oberlin, and taking instead a program of Greek, Latin, and higher mathematics designed for 'gentlemen.

What is the 2024 Black History Month theme? ›

Each year, Black History Month brings another opportunity to discover contributions that enrich our nation. The 2024 theme, “African Americans and the Arts,” explores the creativity, resilience and innovation from a culture that has uplifted spirits and soothed souls in countless ways across centuries.

What is an overlooked fact in black history? ›

Arthur Ashe rose from segregation and racial roadblocks to become the first African American male to win the U.S. Open (1968), the Australian Open (1970) and Wimbledon (1975). In 1963, he was the first African American chosen to play the Davis Cup for the United States.

How old is the Black History Month? ›

February marks Black History Month, a tradition that got its start in the Jim Crow era and was officially recognized in 1976 as part of the nation's bicentennial celebrations. It aims to honor the contributions that African Americans have made and to recognize their sacrifices.

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