Black History Month Facts
In the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany, Black History Month is observed each year. In the United States, it is also known as African-American History Month. The goal of Black History Month is to commemorate both notable African-Americans and significant events in African-American history. Black History Month started in 1926 as Negro History Week, an annual week-long festival to promote knowledge about America's Black history. By 1929, it had achieved widespread acceptance. The Black United Students of Kent State University planned a month-long celebration in 1969, which took place a year later in February 1970. The United States government established Black History Month in 1976.
Facts about Black History Month that are worth knowing:
In both Canada and the United States, February is designated as Black History Month.
In the United Kingdom, Black History Month is observed in October.
Many significant events in Black history have happened in February throughout history. Because Frederick Douglass, a Black abolitionist and writer, was born in this month, as was Abraham Lincoln, who played a significant part in creating Black history, it was selected as the month to commemorate Black History Month.
On a Dutch ship, the first enslaved Africans (20) were transported to the United States in 1619.
When Eli Whitney's revolutionary cotton gin was launched in 1793, the need for slaves in the United States soared.
The importing of slaves was prohibited by Congress in 1808.
Harriet Tubman fled slavery in 1849. She subsequently assisted approximately 300 other slaves in escape to freedom through the Underground Railroad.
On February 1st, the 38th Congress passed the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Slavery was abolished as a result of this amendment. In 1865, it was authorized.
Beginning on February 7th, 1926, the inaugural Negro History Week was held. It was created by Carter G. Woodson.
The 'Father of Black History,' Carter G. Woodson, was the son of former slaves Eliza and James Woodson. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a master's degree and Harvard University with a doctorate.
Debi Thomas was the first African-American woman to win the Women's Singles at the United States National Figure Skating Championships in 1986.
On February 10th, 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law. It made it unlawful for state and municipal governments, as well as public facilities, to refuse anybody admission based on ethnic origin or race. It also rendered school segregation unlawful and susceptible to judicial action.
The first Black professional basketball team was formed on February 13th, 1923. It was known as the 'Renaissance.'
Vonetta Flowers became the first black woman to win a gold medal at the Winter Olympic Games on February 19, 2002. Vonetta and her partner won the first two-person bobsled event for women.
In 1929, a Black baseball catcher named Elston Gene Howard received a $70,000 contract with the New York Yankees. It was the most expensive deal in baseball history (at the time).
Debi Thomas was the first African-American to compete in the Winter Olympics and earn a medal. In 1988, she won bronze in figure skating.
In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered. He was one of the most well-known leaders of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
Barack Obama became the first African-American president of the United States in 2009.