- 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