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Why Is Black History Month in February? 2 Reasons

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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.

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Overview of Black History Month

What is Black History Month? Video Credit: @trtworld

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?

Why is February Black History Month? Who came up with the idea? Video Credit: @LetsTeach

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

Black History 2024- Black American Contribution to Arts and Culture. Video Credit: @rockfordhousingauthority5642

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

Ways to Honor Black History Month. Video Credit: @KZTVAction10News

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.

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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)

Additionally, there’s also Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress. Buy books from Amazon about past and present African American leaders and learn about their exploits.

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. 

People Also Read: 10 Things Young Black Americans in Modern Times Should Learn From Black History

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Uchenna Agwu
Uchenna Agwu
Hi there! I’m Uchenna Agwu, and I love to write. When I’m not writing, you can usually find me reading books or watching documentaries (I’m a bit of a nerd). But I also like to get out and explore – whether that means going on hikes or checking out new restaurants.

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