According to kids.nationalgeographic.com, “Few people studied black history and it wasn’t included in textbooks prior to the creation of Negro History Week.” The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History chose a specific week in February because it “included the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist, and former U.S. president Abraham Lincoln.”
President Gerard Ford changed Negro History Week into Black History Month in 1976. Ford expanded this celebration to a month to “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Did you know that there is a specific theme associated with Black History Month? The 2023 Black History Month Theme is “Black Resistance.” According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the theme of “Black Resistance” remembers the oppression that Bblack citizens have faced throughout history. “African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings since our arrival upon these shores,” ASALH states.
Other countries have adopted their own Black History Month. Like the United States, Canada and Germany have their countries’ Black History Month in February. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands celebrate Black History Month, or Black Appreciation Month, in October.