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Posts Tagged ‘Carter G. Woodson’

Black History Month

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Did you know that African-Americans count for nearly 42 million in the U.S., 13.6 percent of the total population?

By 2050, this proportion is estimated to reach 15 percent.  Although New York had the largest number of blacks of any state, Mississippi had the largest share of this group in its total population — 38 percent.  Black Americans are the largest minority group in 23 states.

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history.

The tradition of Black History Month goes back to the beginning of the 20th Century. NAACP leader and legendary historian and educator Carter G. Woodson originally founded “Negro History Week” in 1926, at a time when most history books simply omitted any African-American history and the central role African-Americans played in the birth of America as we know it. Woodson chose February because it coincided with the birthdays of two men who fought for freedom of American slaves: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

In 1976, Negro History Week was expanded to Black History Month. Since then, Black History Month has offered an opportunity to study, reflect on, and redefine our ongoing legacy in American history.

Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

Sources: NAACP and History

Origin of Black History Month

Freedom Riders

Watch Freedom Riders on PBS. See more from American Experience.

Roads to Memphis

Watch Roads to Memphis on PBS. See more from American Experience.

The New Negro / 1957 MLK Interview

Watch The New Negro / 1957 MLK Interview on PBS. See more from The Open Mind.

Dreams of Obama

Watch Dreams of Obama on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

More resources:

- Black History Month Facts here

- The Black Population in the USA here

- African American History Month here

- Watch more PBS program here

- Celebrating Black History Month in Los Angeles here