Black History Month, February, 2017

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Black History Month Celebrated in February

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Black History Month also referred to as African-American History Month, is celebrated annually in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom (in October). It is designated as a remembrance of important people and the events in history. The first celebration was held in 1926 and was named “Negro History Week.” The second week of February was chosen, at that time, because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

The emphasis of this month is to encourage the coordination of teaching of the history of American blacks in the nation’s public schools. The first celebration was not warmly accepted. Despite the lukewarm reception the event was regarded as “one of the most fortunate steps ever taken leading to the event being held one week per year leading to the annual celebration we have today.”

The expansion of Black History Week was first proposed by the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University in 1969. This resulted in the first month-long celebration being held in February, 1970.

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Perhaps our nation’s capital, Washington, DC offers more celebrations for Black History Month than any other location in the United States. It remembers the contributions of African-American in the United States with numerous events and cultural programs. These events include everything from the Frederick Douglass Birthday Event (Feb 17-18) to the Abraham Lincoln Birthday Observance (Feb 12).

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