February is a special time for the African American community to celebrate our history, culture, achievements, and those who made a path for us. Black History Month is not only celebrated in the United States but also in Canada in February, and the United Kingdom in October. When Black History Month was first created in 1926 in the United States, by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. They choose the second week of February to be Negro History Week, becuase that particular week is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12 and Frederick Douglas on February 14. Both birthdays African American communities have celebrated since the late 19th century.
Expanding Negro History Week to Black History Month was first proposed by the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of the Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later, in February 1970. In 1976 as part of the United States Bicentennial, the expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was officially recognized by the U.S. government. Black History Month was first celebrated in the United Kingdom in 1987. In 1995, after a motion by a politician Canada’s House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month. In 2008, Senator Donald Oliver moved to have the Senate officially recognize Black History Month, which was unanimously approved.
African American have contributed so much to this country such as the folding bed, stop light, gas mask, brain tumor research and surgery, early spark plug, peanut butter, artificial heart pacemaker control unit, refrigerated truck systems, shoe assembly machine, Marie Maynard Daly was the first African American woman with a Ph.D. in chemistry, to Barack Obama being the first African American President, and so much more.
One thing that I am taking away this year for Black History Month is accepting myself and my pride in being African American. I’ve always been told “you don’t act black”, “you’re hella white washed, “your pretty because your light-skinned”, “your prettier when your hair is straight”. I am who I am and nothing more, besides there’s no one else I would want to be anyways. I am learning to love my complexion, the way i speak and act, and the texture of my hair whether it be curly or straight.
I am me, I am African American, and I Black History Month.