5 Important Facts About Black History Month (2024)

The world has changed a lot since Black History Month began in 1926.

The idea for this designated time to celebrate African American history, contributions, and achievements were born out of the desire to honour the legacy of those who fought for freedom and equality in a country that still struggled to offer those same opportunities to all people.

Throughout the world, people of all ethnic and social backgrounds take part in Black History Month by discussing the black experience. Learn about 10 Black History Month facts you may not know.

Carter G. Woodson, the "Father of Black History"

Carter G. Woodson was a scholar and educator who dedicated his life to promoting the study of African-American history.

As a son of formerly enslaved parents, he understood the power of education. He started his formal education at nearly 20 years old. He earned his high school diplomas in West Virginia, his first undergraduate degree from Berea College in Kentucky, and bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Chicago. In 1912, Woodson became the second African American to earn a PhD at Harvard University.

In 1915, Dr Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. The organization changed its name to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and is still operating. In the following year, the association created the Journal of Negro History. It was a research and publication outlet for black scholars. Later on, in 1937, the association formed the Negro History Bulletin, which was similar to the Journal of Negro History, which instead of it catering to black scholars, was accessible and appealed to the general public.

In the year 1926, Dr Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which later became Black History Month.

Why is Black History Month Celebrated in February?

As mentioned earlier, Black History Month started as Negro History Week, all thanks to Dr Woodson.

Woodson intentionally chose the month of February because it coincided with President Abraham Lincoln's and Fredrick Douglas's birthdays. President Lincoln and Douglass were viewed as heroes in the Black community for their efforts as abolitionists.

Black Students Protested for Black History Month

Black students at Kent State University have a long history of student activism, and in the late 1960s, the Black United Students (BUS) chapter at Kent State University was no exception. In 1968, BUS members organized a walkout to protest disorderly conduct charges against students participating in sit-ins. The sit-ins were part of BUS's successful campaign to establish three Black studies departments and institutes on campus.

The Black United Students began a campaign to have the university extend Negro History Week into a month of Black history celebrations. Their efforts were successful. In 1976, President Gerald expanded from a week celebration to a month-long one, and it became Black History Month nationwide.

Every Black History Month Has a Theme

Every year, an American president endorses a particular theme for Black History Month. This is year is no different, and the theme is Black Resistance.

African Americans have faced a long history of oppression, which included police killings and racial terrorism such as lynching. So, how can we observe and focus on this year's theme? The ASALH recommends studying the history of African Americans. In addition, creating safe spaces where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected.

If you are interested in learning about all the themes for Black History Month through the years, we recommend thisarticle by Parade. It is a compilation of all the themes since 1928.

Other Countries Also Recognize and Celebrate Black History Month

Did you know that Black History Month is not only celebrated in the U.S.? It is celebrated in countries throughout the world. Canada and Germany celebrate Black History Month in February along with the U.S., but Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom host their celebrations in October. Brazil celebrates Black Consciousness Day on November 20!

When Black History Month began in the U.S., it focused on African Americans' history. However, as more people of African descent have come to live outside of the U.S., those celebrations have evolved to focus on members of the larger African diaspora.

Black History Month is an important time of the year to reflect on the accomplishments and contributions of Black people throughout history, but it's also a great time to celebrate achievements and victories in the present.

We hope you've learned about Black History month and are now ready to share your knowledge with others. You can use the facts that we've shared in this article as a starting point for your exploration of Black History.

What else would you add to our list? Let us know in the comments below!







5 Important Facts About Black History Month (2024)


5 Important Facts About Black History Month? ›

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 are 5 facts about Black History Month? ›

Here are five important things to know about this meaningful commemoration:
  • It Started as a Week. In 1915, Harvard-educated historian Carter G. ...
  • Carter Woodson: The Father of Black History. ...
  • February Was Chosen for a Reason. ...
  • A Week Becomes a Month. ...
  • Honoring African-American Men and Women.
Feb 18, 2019

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 importance Black History Month? ›

February is Black History Month. This month-long observance in the US and Canada is a chance to celebrate Black achievement and provide a fresh reminder to take stock of where systemic racism persists and give visibility to the people and organizations creating change.

What are 2 important facts about Black History Month? ›

Black History Month celebrates African Americans' history, contributions, and achievements. Almost 100 years ago, Black History Month began as a weeklong event. It's now a month-long celebration that takes place every February. Black history embraces the 400-year-long record of Black life in America.

What are two important facts about Black History Month? ›

It was first celebrated during the second week of February in 1926 to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass (February 14). In 1976, as part of the nation's bicentennial, the week was expanded to a month.

What is a fact about Black History Month for kids? ›

1. Carter G. Woodson is known as the “Father of Black History” as he created the celebration that eventually became Black History Month. Graduating in 1912, Woodson was just the second Black American to graduate from Harvard University with a doctorate degree.

What are some fun facts about black history? ›

Anthony Benezet, a white Quaker, abolitionist, and educator, is credited with creating the first public school for African American children in the early 1770s. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1850 with a literary degree, Lucy Stanton became the first Black woman in America to earn a four-year college degree.

What is a black history fact for 2 17? ›

5,000 protesters gathered in Oakland, California, on February 17, 1968. That day was Black Panther Party member Huey Newton's birthday. He spent it in jail awaiting trial for allegedly killing Oakland Police Officer John Frey the previous year.

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.

How long is Black History Month? ›

It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora, initially lasting a week before becoming a month-long observation since 1970.

Why is Feb Black History Month? ›

Woodson chose February for reasons of tradition and reform. It is commonly said that Woodson selected February to encompass the birthdays of two great Americans who played a prominent role in shaping black history, namely Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, whose birthdays are the 12th and the 14th, respectively.

Who invented Black History Month? ›

It was Carter G. Woodson, the "father of Black history," who first set out in 1926 to designate a time to promote and educate people about Black history and culture, according to W. Marvin Dulaney. He is a historian and the president of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).

What happened on May 22 in Black history? ›

The War Department issued General Order 143 on May 22, 1863, creating the United States Colored Troops. By the end of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 black men (10 percent of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army, and another 19,000 served in the Navy.

Who was the first Black famous person? ›

Richard Potter, America's First Black Celebrity - Black Heritage Trail NH.

What are some fun facts about Black history? ›

11 Black history facts to commemorate Black History Month
  • Black History Month began as a week. ...
  • Thurgood Marshall was the first Black American appointed to the Supreme Court. ...
  • The first Black person to win an Oscar was... ...
  • Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday in 2021.
Jan 17, 2024

What is one Black History Month fact? ›

It became a month-long celebration in 1976. Jack Johnson became the first African American man to hold the World Heavyweight Champion boxing title in 1908. He held onto the belt until 1915. John Mercer Langston was the first Black man to become a lawyer when he passed the bar in Ohio in 1854.

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.


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