February is Black History Month


(Photo courtesy of atlantablackstar.com)

Eleonora Clock, News and Opinion Editor

This year, from February 1 until February 28, Americans across the nation will be celebrating Black History Month. Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements made by African Americans in history. Before Black History Month was created, historian Carter G. Woodson announced in 1926 that the second week in February was “Negro History Week”. This week was chosen due to the coinciding of the birthdays of two figures who were important to African American history, Abraham Lincoln, on February 12, and Frederick Douglas, on February 14. At the time of Negro History Week’s launch Woodson contended that the teaching of black history was essential to ensure the physical and intellectual survival of the race within broader society.

In 1969, Black History Month was first proposed by the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent University. Black History Month was officially embraced by the U.S. government in 1976. Black History Month originally simply celebrated the issues that had brought success to Negro History Week. Eventually, as more and more historical events were discovered or completed, the list of things to celebrate during Black History Month grew.

The historical celebrations date back all the way to the American Civil War. Each of the slaves who served during the times leading up to the Civil War are deserving of the honor which people attempt to give them during the month of February. Many other men and women went above and beyond the call of duty during that time period, and the ones that followed. Ruby Bridges was not even an adult when she made history. She was the first African American to integrate a white school. Ruby was in second grade, and faced many challenges, such as being ostracized from her classmates and death threats from the angry protestors outside the school. The little girl faced all of her challenges with amazing bravery. Another brave integrator is Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson took his talent and passion for baseball to new levels when he stepped out onto the field wearing the jersey of the Brooklyn Dodgers, a formerly all-white team in an all-white league.

So many other African Americans have been an inspiration to so many, and no matter what race you are, embrace your heritage and celebrate those who came before you. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up making history!