The Origin of Black History Month

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February 1 marks the beginning of Black history month, a month of appreciating and remembering the achievements and advancements made by African Americans.

Black History month originally started out as just a week-long event, created by historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland after they created the Association for the study of African American Life and History back in 1915, with its original name being the Association for the study of Negro Life and History.

In 1926, the organization began holding the week-long event titled as Negro History Week. This week was used to represent and remember their history and advancements. They chose the second week of February for this week-long event which was done purposely so it could coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, both of which played major roles in our nation’s history.

Frederick Douglas was originally a slave who escaped to freedom and became a major voice in the abolitionist movement during the mid to late 1800s. Abraham Lincoln became America’s 16th U.S president and is known as the president who created the Emancipation Proclamation which freed the slaves, eventually adding on to it with the 13th amendment which solidified their freedom and made slavery finally abolished permanently.

This week-long event inspired other communities and schools to celebrate with their own forms of remembrance through performances, lectures, and local celebrations. By the 1960’s the states were calling for Negro History Week to be officially recognized as a yearly event. This was due to events such as the civils rights movement bringing more awareness to the week-long event. This historical week eventually evolved into a full month on college campuses where it began to be recognized by the name of Black History Month.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month. He called upon the people of the United States and asked them to seize their chance at honoring the many achievements and accomplishments that have been done by African Americans throughout history that for too long had been neglected. Since 1976, every president has designated February as the yearly Black History Month. Along with every year has come new themes for each years Black History Month.

For 2023, their theme for Black History Month is called “Black Resistance” and is aimed to show how Africans Americans has resisted historic oppression as well as current ongoing oppression that involves different forms of racial terrorism such as racial programs and police killings. This resistance is a constant show of effort towards advocating for a self-determined life in an equal and just society.

TanTV plans to celebrate Black History Month by showcasing 21st-century African and Black diaspora figures touching on their accomplishments and tying into this year’s theme of “Black Resistance”. Each day for the month of February 2023, a key figure will be spotlighted across our social media and platform. Perhaps this is your chance to nominate a key figure in recent times impacting the culture for us to highlight. To participate, send us a direct message on our Instagram @tantvstudios with the name of your nominee!

Team Credit:

Written by: Charles Buckley and Karesha Graham

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