Mr. Russell’s Classroom: A History Lesson About Black History Month

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – February is celebrating all over as Black History Month and in Mr. Russell’s Classroom, we are giving a history lesson about Black History Month.  The Father of Black History Month is Dr. Carter G. Woodson. He was inspired to do something celebrating Blacks after he took a trip to Chicago to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. That was in 1915 – he thought more needed to be done to highlight Black achievement.


Woodson was also part of Black Achievement.  He was the second African American to graduate with a doctorate from Harvard University and was the author of about 20 books including The Mis-Education of the Negro. In 1926 Woodson established the Negro History and Literature Week in the second week in February.  That week was important to Woodson because it included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. The week was celebrated and embraced by many.


Woodson wanted more than just a week to highlight Black Achievement. He started the efforts to expand the week. He died in 1950 of a sudden heart attack but college students took up Woodson’s vision. The group established Black History Month in 1976 when President Gerald Ford was in the White House. Every US President since then has proclaimed February as Black History Month.


The colors for Black History Month is Red, Black, and Green.  Other countries also celebrate Black History Month. Canada celebrates it in February while the UK, Ireland, and the Netherlands recognize Black History Month in October


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