How Black History Month Got Started

Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.

Each February, the U.S. marks Black History Month honoring contributions African-Americans made throughout history. Since then, statistics show African-Americans continuing to make progress on several fronts.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the current population of Black and African Americans makes up 46.9 million. Also, 89.4% of African Americans age 25 and older had a high school diploma or higher in 2020.

Here is a look at how and when Black History Month got its start.

How did Black History Month start?

Carter G. Woodson, a founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History organization, first came up with the idea of the celebration that became Black History Month.

Woodson, born in 1875 to recently freed Virginia slaves, went on to earn a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He worried that Black children were not being taught about their ancestors’ achievements in American schools in the early 1900s.

“Woodson fervently believed that Black people should be proud of their heritage and all Americans should understand the largely overlooked achievements of Black Americans,” the NAACP stated on its website.

Woodson originally came up with the idea of Negro History Week to encourage Black Americans to become more interested in their own history and heritage and it was established in 1926.

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SOURCE: FOX 10 Phoenix, Chris Williams