How Black History Month Came To Be
In the 20th century, while Carter G. Woodson earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Chicago, both in history, Woodson noticed the history he was being taught gave little to no representation of black people in the making of America. Woodson knew this wasn’t accurate, “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” In 1915, Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (the ASALH). The organization promoted the study of black history and the celebration of African Americans and their accomplishments. In 1926, the ASALH launched “Negro History Week” to bring attention to their mission and help schools coordinate and focus on the topic. Woodson chose the second week of February as it covered both Frederick Douglass’ birthday on the 14th and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on the 12th. The celebration was spread quickly and people soon began to have a better understanding of black history and literature. But black history week did not turn into a month until the mid-1960s in the midst of the Civil War Movement. The change was provoked by the fact that the most popular 8th-grade history book at the time only had mention of two black Americans.
Important Black Figures
The month of February is the time of year where we dedicate time to celebrate black people and their impact and contributions to society. Black history is our history, most things from rock music to peanut butter originate from black culture and black people, it’s time to give credit where credit is deserved. As part of black history month, it’s important to recognize and acknowledge all the black Americans who have made a name for themselves and who contributed to the development of the society we know today.
Madam C.J. Walker
Walker was born Sarah Breedlove on December 23, 1867, her parents at the time were recently freed from slavery. During the 1890s, Walker developed a scalp disorder which caused her to lose hair. This caused Walker to experiment and eventually create specialized hair products for black women. She promoted her product by traveling around the country, this eventually led her to open up her own factories where she manufactured cosmetics. with years of hard work, Walker became one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire.
Dr. Charles Drew
Drew was born on June 3, 1904, in Washington D.C., he was an American physician. During his career, Dr. Drew made some groundbreaking discoveries like ways to process and store blood in plasma. During World War II Dr. Drew directed the blood programs in the U.S. and Great Britain but resigned after he found out of a ruling where African American blood would be segregated.
Wheatley was born in 1753, West Africa, at a young age Wheatley was kidnapped and taken to Boston to serve as a slave. She was bought by a tailor named John Wheatley, Phillis served as a personal slave for his wife, Susanna. Unlike most slave masters at the time, the Wheatley’s treated Phillis with kindness, almost like a member of the family. Phillis was given privileges not usually given to slaves, such as learning how to read and write. Quickly Phillis mastered the English language and went on to learn Greek And Latin. In her early teens, Phillis was a talented poet, exceptionally mature for her age. In 1773, Phillis became the first African American woman and second American woman to publish a book of poems. Phillis’ work became greatly influential, read by everyone from abolitionists and slave owners, her work being proof of the intellectual abilities of people of color.