Black History Month in the USA

Black History Month is a remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. Since 1976, it is celebrated annually in the United States of America and Canada in February and the United Kingdom in the month of October. In the U.S., Black History Month is also referred to as African-American History Month.

The remembrance has its roots in 1926 by United States historian Carter G. Woodson as “Negro History Week”. Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of two Americans who greatly influenced the lives and social condition of African Americans: former President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass. Woodson also founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Black History Month sparks an annual debate about the continued usefulness of a month dedicated to the history of one race. Some critics contend that Black History Month undermines the contention that African American history is simply American history. Critical op-ed pieces have appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer and USA Today.

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