life and times of frederick douglass

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Why is February Black History Month? Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln

  • President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976.
  • But people had been celebrating Black History Month, however, since long before Ford’s designation. 
  • In 1915, Carter Woodson — a historian often referred to as the “Father of Black History” — developed an association in Chicago to bring attention to the importance of studying and spreading knowledge about black life and history. 
  • At the time, it was called the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History; since then, it has been renamed the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
  • The founders created reading and study materials for teachers, wrote plays and made posters sharing important information and dates about black history.
  • In 1926, they also announced that “Negro History Week” would take place during the month of February.
  •  Over time — and especially as a response from college students during the Civil Rights movement — a push came for the celebratory week to be expanded to a month.
  • Woodson chose February partly because it was the birth month of two people who’d played important roles in black history: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Read more

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Life/School Hack

If you have a short amount of time to read a book for school, and you can’t seem to focus on it. Look up the audio book on YouTube, put it on 1.25 or 1.5 speed, and follow along in your book while taking notes and marking pages when necessary. This has honestly saved my life while reading The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Into the Wild, The Great Gatsby, and currently The Awakening.