The next month is the Black History Month of 2012! Wouldn’t it be great to know the history of this historical month and prepare yourself well in advance about what it signifies? This article will take you down to the pages where National African-American History Month started and will help you realize its importance all the more!
Black History Month is also known as the African-American History Month. It is celebrated all over the United States of America and Canada in the month of February. Although, in the United Kingdom, the Black History Month is celebrated in October! The next month is time wherein each and every school and university will be conducting various activities to make this generation aware of the importance that African-American history holds in the nation. The electronic media is filled with themes in relevance to the occasion, and many activities will be carried out across the country to pay tribute to the contribution made by the African-American citizens in the development of this nation.
Many people still have a lot of questions in their minds. Some of these questions are, who started Black History Month? Why is February Black History Month?… and so on. Well, Black History Month was first started by a well-known African-American historian, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, in the year 1926. February was decided as the month to celebrate the African-American history because it was the birthday month of two of the most notable and highly valued people among the African-Americans. These were, President Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves; and Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist; who was also the first vice-presidential nominee among African-Americans! Initially, Black History Month was known as the ‘Negro History Week‘. This was Dr. Woodson’s attempt to encourage awareness among citizens about the contribution of African-Americans towards the building of the nation. It was only in the early 1970s that the name ‘Negro history week’ changed to ‘Black History Week‘. And later, in the year 1976, the entire month of February was declared as the National African-American History Month, or the Black History Month!
Every year, National African-American History Month is celebrated by conducting many activities and implementing various ideas and themes for the younger generation. Unlike last year, wherein the theme was ‘African-Americans and the Civil War’, the 2012 theme is, ‘Black Women in American Culture and History‘! So, this year, the schools can encourage children to do some projects or assignments which gives them an opportunity to learn how African- American women contributed in the American history and culture, and made the nation what it is today!
In order to celebrate the National African-American History Month this year, schools can conduct and implement many interesting ideas to help the students dig into African-American history pages. These ideas may include treasure hunt activity, wherein the students can be asked to surf the internet or the libraries to find out the contribution of African-Americans women in the American history. You can also ask the junior classes to prepare a chart for the same. An essay on who is their favorite African-American woman and why, would help the kids understand their contribution in a much better way! Senior classes may be asked to prepare a skit based on the theme, or, there could be a dress code based on the way some of the well-known African-Americans, especially women, dressed back then. This would give them a chance to live the way the African-Americans did, even though for a few hours!
Black History Month has always been accompanied by some controversies! There has always been a debate among many sections of the society, that emphasizing a whole month just on the contribution of African-Americans promotes multiculturalism! Not only this, many people also say that differentiating African-American history from American history promotes the idea that African-Americans are not fully Americans! However, I see it from a different point of view. I think that celebration of National African-American History Month promotes unity. The fact that African-Americans are still going through issues like racism and unfairness, is because people don’t realize that without their contribution, America would not, and could not be the nation that it is today! I mean, isn’t President Barack Obama a classic example for this! Celebrating National African-American History Month, and knowing more about their contributions, would help the nation accept each and everyone, not on the basis of their color, but by looking at what the African-American ancestors did to make America the only super power in the world. So, now that you know when is black history month, and why is it celebrated, how are you celebrating your black history month this year?