Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Black History Month 2011

The time to celebrate Black History Month is here again. Here's a little history about the origins of Black History Month:
During the dawning decades of the twentieth century, it was commonly presumed that black people had little history besides the subjugation of slavery. Recognizing the dearth of information on the accomplishments of blacks in 1915, Dr. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).  Under Woodson’s pioneering leadership, the Association created research and publication outlets for black scholars with the establishment of the Journal of Negro History (1916) and the Negro History Bulletin (1937), which garners a popular public appeal.
In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, this celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February, and today Black History Month garners support throughout the country as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the black experience. ASALH views the promotion of Black History Month as one of the most important components of advancing Dr. Woodson’s legacy.
Source:  http://asalh.org/woodsonbiosketch.html

"When Carter G. Woodson established Negro History week in 1926, he realized the importance of providing a theme to focus the attention of the public. The intention has never been to dictate or limit the exploration of the Black experience, but to bring to the public's attention important developments that merit emphasis.
For those interested in the study of identity and ideology, an exploration of ASALH's Black History themes is itself instructive. Over the years, the themes reflect changes in how people of African descent in the United States have viewed themselves, the influence of social movements on racial ideologies, and the aspirations of the black community.  The changes notwithstanding, the list reveals an overarching continuity in ASALH--our dedication to exploring historical issues of importance to people of African descent and race relations in America." Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University

The theme for the first Negro History Week was "The Negro in History."  The 2011 theme is "African Americans and the Civil War" in honor of the efforts of people of African descent to destroy slavery and inaugurate universal freedom.  See the entire statement here:  http://www.asalh.org/files/2011_Black_History_Theme.pdf

This blog aims to recognize recognize historical moments in Black History throughout the year with the "Today in Black HIstory" tab. This month we will also highlight items related to this month's Black History Theme: African Americans and the Civil War.

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