Black History Month, a federally recognized commemoration was created decades ago to recognize the African Americans who had worked for the better of the society. Since its pronouncement, it has turned out to be one of the most celebrated cultural months in the United States of America. Why is Black History Month in February? Continue reading to find out all you need to know about the celebration.
Join our Spotcovery Global Black Community Facebook Group for early access to exclusive content and to share in a lively discussion.
Overview of Black History Month
Black History Month is a yearly celebration that originated in the United States, where it’s also called African American History Month. The celebration has gotten official recognition from the Canadian and United States governments.
It has also been observed in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The celebration started as a way of honoring and remembering important events and people in the history of black Americans. Black History Month is celebrated in February in Canada and the United States, while the United Kingdom and Ireland mark it in October.
People Also Read: Black History Month: Which Countries Celebrate in October?
Why Is Black History Month in February?
Black History Month is celebrated in February for two main reasons. Here are the two reasons.
Two African American Notable Figures Were Born in February
The primary reason Woodson picked February as Black History Month is that the month coincides with the birthdays of two Americans who contributed to shaping black history.
Those two notable Americans were President Abraham Lincoln, who formerly stopped slavery and Frederick Douglass, a famed abolitionist who escaped slavery. These two black leaders were born on 12 and 14 February respectively.
Black History Month, originally created as Negro History Week, was established around days that African Americans were already celebrating across the country. Woodson established Negro History Week traditional day of remembering and celebrating the black past. This was a way of asking the general public to expand their study of black history.
Besides Woodson, an author and civil rights activist, Richard Wright also invested so much time and effort lobbying for the commiseration of a day in February, called National Freedom Day. The celebration marks the anniversary of the approval of the 13th Amendment, a bill that abolished slavery in 1865.
Regardless of what form the festivity of Black History Month takes, its goal is to teach and celebrate the black past.
Significance of the Date February 1st
Outside of February being the birth month of two notable Americans who fought for the betterment of the black community, it’s also an important month for African Americans. February marks the beginning of Greensboro sit-ins.
The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of peaceful protests from February to July 1960. These protests were primarily at the Woolworth store, which is currently the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.
The Greensboro sit-ins protests forced the F.W Woolworth Company department store chain to abolish its policy of racial segregation. Although not the first sit-ins peaceful protests of the civil rights movement, it was an instrumental action. They’re also seen as the facilitators of the subsequent sit-ins, in which a large number of citizens participated.
People Also Read: Is the Black History Month Celebrated in Africa?
Black History Month 2024 Theme
Since 1976, every United States president has designated February as Black History Month and picked a theme for the celebration. This year’s theme ‘African Americans and the Arts,’ looks at the accomplishments of black Americans in the virtual, arts, music, language, fashion, architecture, and other types of cultural expressions.
Ways to Honor Black History Month
When it comes to celebrating Black History Month, you can do that in many ways. Here are 4 ways to honor and recognize the heritage, accomplishments, and culture of African Americans.
Support Black-owned Businesses
Many black-owned businesses still face structural racism today. This sometimes forces them out of business or makes it hard for them to compete in the market.
Buying black, especially during Black History Month when these brands tend to have more visibility is a great way to mark the celebration.
Learn About Influential Black Figures and their Legacies
Typically, Black History Month draws association with well-known figures like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., but there are several others to learn about. For example, there’s Fannie Lou Hammer, a black activist who launched Freedom Farm Cooperative (FFC).
Donate to Charity that Promote Equality and Anti-Racism
Given the ongoing fight against racism and police brutality, organizations that champion this course need monetary support. So, consider donating to charity organizations within your locality.
Purchase, Read, and Share Black Authors’ Books
Add black authors to your reading list. For example, ‘The Half Has Never Been Told’ by Edward E. Baptist discusses the role of slavery in the United States’ modernization and evolution. You can get this book and many others from Amazon to educate yourself and others within your circle about the struggles of the black race.
Educate People About the Importance of the Celebration
You can also participate by educating people within your reach about Black History Month and its importance. Use your social media handles to write insightful posts about the celebration. And also share useful resources from government agencies and reputable non-governmental organizations regarding the commiseration.
Decorate Your Office or Home For Black History Month
Turn your office or home door into an educational experience. Print things relating to the celebration and use them to decorate your entrance.
Attend Seminars or Events
During this celebration, government agencies and other bodies hold educational events and seminars. Make it a point of duty to attend these events. If you can’t attend the physical ones, try to attend the online webinars and events. Also don’t just attend, share the information and invite others to attend with you. This will help build a more informed community.
Since the 1970s, the declaration of the commiseration has introduced countless celebrations of black achievement and history. However, if you have been asking why is ‘Black History Month in February?’ We believe you now have the answers.
Nearly 80% of consumers visit directories with reviews to find a local business. List your business for free in our exclusive Spotcovery Black-Owned Business Directory.
Spotcovery offers unique and fresh daily content on Black culture, lifestyle, and experiences. We talk about everything black, black people, black-owned and black-owned businesses. We also deliver authentic and relevant content that will inform, inspire and empower you! The future of black media is critical to today’s black experience! Our primary audience includes African Americans, Africans, Afro-Caribbean, and people of African heritage. Black culture is for the culture!