Why Do We Celebrate African American History Month?

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Georgia Moran, Editor

African American History Month is an event that occurs every February to celebrate the African American figures that have made an impact on the world. We are celebrating it right now, but why? And how did it come to be?

In September of 1915, two men named Carter Woodson and Jesse Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which was created to celebrate achievements of African Americans. National African American history week was first started by this organization in 1926, in the second week of February, which is when Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays are. This inspired communities all around the nation to organize local celebrations, performances, etc. In around the late 60s, just a week of celebration slowly started to be recognized for the whole month.

Starting in 1976, there has been a theme for African American History Month, chosen by the president. This year’s theme is “African Americans and The Vote.” This theme is being celebrated because 2020 is the 150th anniversary of the fifteenth amendment, which gave African American men the right to vote. Some past themes have ranged from Civil Rights in America to The Crisis In African American Education.

As the world is evolving, this month is being celebrated more as African Americans start getting recognized as influential people. For example, in the 200s hallway last year, there was a billboard with pictures of African Americans we should be celebrating. One of the pictures showed Martin Luther King Jr, one of the most influential people of all time. He was one of the first people to stand up for African American rights in the US, and he fearlessly made his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968 at a motel, but his legacy lives on to this day.

So there you have it. It took awhile for us to get to this point, but the US is finally giving African American figures the recognition they deserve.