About Black History Month

Carter Woodson is the father of Black History Month.
Carter Woodson is the father of Black History Month.

Black History month was established in 1976 by African Americans. It is meant to be a study of African American Life and History. Black History month is a remembrance of the important people and events from the Black communities that have contributed to our Nation. It is celebrated during the month of February in Canada and the United States, and held in the UK during the month of October.


Black History Month was established in 1976. It was meant to be an expansion of Negro History Week which had been established in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was the director of “The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.” And to search back even further, the celebrations may have begun because of the efforts of Mary Church Terrell. Terrell was a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at the African American Collegiate fraternity Omega Psi Phi. She had begun celebrating a man by the name of Frederick Douglass on February 14. She along with others belonging to the Omega group established a “Negro Achievement Week” in 1924. Woodson and Terrell were friends at the time and began working together on preserving the home and personal papers of Douglass. Terrell’s efforts were within the local community, while Woodson wanted his voice to be heard nation wide. He did this by:

1.Reaching out to the country; He wanted the event to be a national celebration so he sent the word out to groups across the whole United States.
2.Sending his appeal to both blacks and whites so as to improve relations between the two.

This is why he chose to use Lincoln’s and Douglass’ birthday together to celebrate and help the world recognize how the African dissented community had contributed to the history of the nation.


Black History Month has created much controversy among different nations and races. In the hopes to bring recognition to African American prominent leaders and improve relationships between blacks and whites, it may have stirred the pot even further. There was some debate earlier when it began, but there has been more about the continued usefulness and fairness of an entire month dedicated to the history of one race.

Some radicalist groups have criticized Black History Month due to singling out a specific race instead of embracing them all together, and others have criticized its irrelevance and claim it has deteriorated in a shallow ritual. Some have said that there should be no “Black History Month” because black history is American History; it should be included thusly. The dream of Carter G. Woodson was that one day “Negro History Month” would eventually be eliminated, when African American history would be integrated in with American History. That has not become the case as of yet.

Greatest African American People

There have been many great African American people and leaders in this country and nation that have paved the way for others to follow. Some of those critical and greatest American people in the history of this nation have been:

Martin Luther King Jr.
Rosa Parks
•Colin Powell
•Oprah Winfrey
•Muhammad Ali
•Frederick Douglass
Harriet Tubman
•Michael Jordan
•Condoleezza Rice

These are only a few of the African American community that celebrate or have celebrated Black History Month in remembrance of those who paved the nation’s way into a fully segregated nation.

Learn more with these Black History Month websites.

Cite This Page

"About Black History Month." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 31 Mar. 2008. Web. 4 Sep. 2015. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/129/about-black-history-month/ >.

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