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Black History Month is designed to celebrate the lives and ideas of African Americans who changed the world forever. By recognizing 10 facts about Black history month, we can find out where the movement came from and why it is still recognized today.
“This month, we recognize the courage and tenacity of so many hard-working Americans whose legacies are woven into the fabric of our Nation.”- President Barack Obama
1. Black History Month was created by Carter G. Woodson in 1926 and was originally called “Negro History Week”. It became a month-long celebration in 1976 and is designed to encompass the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and freed slave, Fredrick Douglass.
2. Carter G. Woodson is the son of freed slaves Eliza and James Woodson. Before being known as the “Father of Black History”, Woodson attended University of Chicago and gained a Ph.D from Harvard.
3. Because Black History Month was so popular, it was integrated into the curriculum taught in public schools. It was designed to get students thinking about how they could instigate a change in their personal lives and the lives of others.
4. Black History Month is celebrated during the month of October in the United Kingdom.
5. On February 1st, the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution was adopted by the 38th Congress. This amendment abolished slavery and was approved during 1865.
6. Black History Month became popular because it was commercialized and publicized by people working for the benefit of Black interest. Scholars, intellectuals and college professors rushed to publish books that would be sold in public spaces as well as schools.
7. On Feb. 10, 1964, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, making it illegal for the government to deny access to any public space based on a person's ethnicity or race. It also made segregation in schools illegal.
8. On Feb. 13, 1923, the first African American professional basketball team was organized. It was called ‘The Renaissance'.
9. Since 1976, each president has declared February the month of Black History.
10. In 2015, Twitter will mark the month long celebration as #blackhistorymonth.