Celebrating Black History Month
Black History Month provides an opportunity to recognize and honor African Americans’ achievements, contributions, and cultural heritage. This year’s theme, “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity,” highlights the importance of family in the black community and the diversity within the black family experience. We can work towards greater understanding, representation, and equality for black families and individuals by recognizing and celebrating this theme.
The origin of Black History Month dates back to 1925, when historian and founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, announced his idea for a nationally celebrated Negro History week to honor the numerous contributions that blacks have made to American society. Negro History Week was first celebrated the following year in February 1926 in major cities across the United States. It was expanded to a month-long event in 1976, fifty years after the original Negro History Week. President Gerald R. Ford declared February Black History Month. During this time he called for Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout history.
Dr. Woodson’s organization is now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), whose mission is to preserve, promote and educate the global community about black life, history, and culture year-round. The ASALH aims to raise awareness of African Americans’ contributions to society while fighting for equality. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History works to empower black people through its education and outreach.
2023 Black History Month Theme: Black Resistance
It explores how African-Americans have fought repression from America’s earliest days. From escaping the plantation to rising out of poverty and the struggle for equal housing and education to voting rights, the resistance lives on even into the 21st century. It also highlights the institutions and affiliations that have lobbied, litigated, legislated, protested, and achieved success.
Ways to Honor Black History Month
Black History Month runs through February and television celebrates Black voices and stories across film, television, politics, sports and more. PBS has an entire schedule of programming for Black History Month. Visit a Black Museum. Donate time or money to the ASALH, the NAACP legal defense fund, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the African American Experience Fund (A division of the National Park Foundation,) Black Girls Code, or other worthy causes.
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
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