"Black history is American history...Observing Black History Month in February gives us a chance to be intentional about learning that history."
Here we are a full week into February-- I didn't want too many more days to get past us and not share some information that will hopefully give some support for you in your classrooms as we move forward with Black History Month. I also hope that there will be some resources (see below) that you might find helpful to reach a goal of figuring out how we can include Black History in our lessons this month and beyond. Remember Black History Month doesn't just have to be our civil rights leaders (but be sure to include them too, of course!) There are many of ways to go beyond the typical inventors and sports heroes (although they are important as well!) so that every child can connect to and learn from the amazing contributions of the African American community.
Finally, like this site shares, "Black History Month has been the subject of criticism...as some argue it is unfair to devote an entire month to a single people group. Others contend that we should celebrate Black history throughout the entire year. Setting aside only one month, they say, gives people license to neglect this past for the other 11 months. Despite the objections, though, I believe some good can come from devoting a season to remembering a people who have made priceless deposits into the account of our nation’s history."
-->Here are five reasons why we should celebrate Black History Month:
--Read on to learn why Black History Month began and to snag those resources I mentioned--
First, let’s briefly take a look at the start of Black History Month, also called African-American History Month. Carter G. Woodson—educator, historian, writer, and the “Father of Black History”--established Negro History Week in 1926. He believed that celebrating the achievements of Black Americans and others of African descent would instill racial pride in Black people, especially the children. Woodson's original Negro History Week took place during the second week of February because it coincided with the birthdates of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
In 1976, the bicentennial of the United States, President Gerald R. Ford expanded the week into a full month. He said the country needed to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
“If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”
—Carter G. Woodson-
-taken from Black Children's Books and Authors