History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements
and contributions people of African heritage have made for the
world. It is also a time to reflect on our sad history of prejudice
and slavery and to advocate for equal rights for all.
1926, African-American historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson advocated
for the observance of Negro History Week during the 2nd week
in February because it marks the birthdays of two Americans
who greatly helped African Americans win freedom and justice
in America -- Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. During
the bicentennial celebration in 1976, Black History Week was
expanded to the entire month and Black History Month has been
observed every February since then.
marks the observance of many other important milestones in African-American
history. On February 1, 1865, Abraham Lincoln signed the 13th
Amendment abolishing slavery. The 15th Amendment, granting black
men the right to vote was adopted on February 3, 1870; on February
12, 1909 the NAACP was founded; and on February 25, 1870, Hiram
Rhodes Revels, the first black US Senator, took the oath of
is the birth month of many Black BetterWorld Heroes: Langston
Hughes was born February 1, 1902; Rosa
Parks on February 4, 1913; Bob
Marley on February 6, 1945; Alice
Walker on February 9, 1944; Richard
Allen on February 14, 1766; Frederick
Douglass on February 14, 1818; John
R. Lewis on February 21, 1940; and W.
E. B. Dubois on February 23, 1868.
the UK, Black History Month is celebrated in October.