Civil rights protesters marching for equal rights in America

Why is Black History Month Celebrated in February?

Have you ever heard of Carter G. Woodson?

Despite being born to former slaves, and having no solid educational foundation in his family, Woodson defied all odds and emerged a significant figure in black history. What the country now calls “Black History Month” was the brainchild of this man in the 1920s. An educational event that he called “Negro History Week” eventually grew into a month-long celebration across America.

A century later, Black History Month continues to incite conversation within the country. Let’s talk about it.

What is Black History Month?

Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, is a month-long event during which observers celebrate the achievements of black revolutionaries throughout history. It was first announced in 1926, and is now celebrated every year in February.

Why Do We Celebrate BHM?

The United States has a long history of political, racial, and social developments. A large percentage of these developments had to do with the racial discrimination that non-white Americans were, and continue to be, subjected to. Of these minority groups, none had to bear the brunt as badly as African-American people did. It took a long struggle for black people in America to earn some semblance of equal rights — a feat the country has yet to fully accomplish.

Black History Month (BHM) is observed in celebration of the anti-racist battles black revolutionaries have managed to win throughout history. It’s a celebration of their identities, lives, fights, and accomplishments. BHM is a way to remember and thank those who fought and died for black freedom in America.

Why is BHM Celebrated in February?

When Carter G. Woodson first announced “Negro History Week”, he specifically chose to have it in February. The reason for this is considered to be a celebration in itself. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass were the two revolutionaries whose efforts led to emancipation in 1863. Without these men, it likely would’ve taken a lot longer for slavery in America to come to an end. Without them, millions of black slaves wouldn’t be freed at the time. This makes them two of the most historically celebrated men for African Americans.

Both of these men have their birthdays in February. So, as a homage to them, Black History Month is celebrated in the same month every year.

Black Lives Matter protesters kneeling with their fists up

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