February: Black History Month

February 1st will mark the beginning of  Black History Month (also referred to as African-American Month) in both the United States and Canada.  This dedication month is celebrated annually to highlight and remember the achievement of African Americans and illuminate their vital role in the history of the United States.

The origin of Black History Month cultivated after the national Negro History Week of 1915, which was established by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). The ASNLH was coordinated by Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard historian, and Jesse E. Moorland, a minister. President Jimmy Carter was the first of the presidents to commence February as Black History Month, stating it calls “attention to the contributions of black people to our overall progress and development, the month of February thus serves to build goodwill and understanding between all people.” Every U.S. president thereafter officially dedicated the month of February as Black History Month.

See also: The Smithsonian’s online exhibit for Black History Month

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_History_Month 

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=31277

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