The scholar Carter G. Woodson and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of "Negro Life and History" (ASNLH), originated what was then named Negro History Week in 1925. This first took place during the first week of February of that year. Why February? February is the birth month of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two individuals who had a large impact on Black Americans.
As a result of this week, education and organizations focused on Black history became increasingly more popular and in high demand. By the 1950s, this weekly celebration had become a central part of life for Black Americans and became more widely celebrated as the country grew more progressive.
"Negro History Week" became Black History Month in 1976, after President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Read more about the origin of Black History Month here. -BlackHistoryMonth.gov
The Archdiocese of Seattle Catholic Schools has stressed that it is imperative that we celebrate Black History Month in our schools. Our intention here at Kennedy Catholic High School is to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Black Americans to our lives.
The Archdiocese has shared suggestions as to how we can celebrate in schools, as well as in our own lives:
- Learn more about the history of Black History Month
- Think critically about supporting Black Americans in your everyday life
- Celebrate Black saints and Catholic figures of color
- Support a Black-owned business in our area
- Visit the Northwest African American Museum either in person or virtually
- Donate to a local Black organization
- Support a Black creative artist, poet, musician
- Read a book by a Black author
- Donate to a Historically Black College or University (HBCU)
- Learn about an unsung hero in Black history
- Learn the lyrics to Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing
- Read a biography of a historical Black figure
More resources on supporting Seattle-based Black-owned businesses can be found here.
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