The 2022 theme for Black History Month is Black Health and Wellness, paying homage to the number of Black healthcare professionals who've put their lives on the line through the global pandemic. The history of having a theme for Black History Month started in 1926 when Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week. He believed that having a theme was important when focusing the attention of the public. The purpose of having a theme is not to limit the exploration of the Black experience, but rather to bring attention to key evolutions that have developed over time. "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." In the 1960s, Negro History Week became Black History Month.
Black History Month is a celebration of the culture and success while also acknowledging the adversities and hardships faced at the hands of the United States. One cannot think of American history without the thought of Black History. Black people have contributed to a large part of this country being what it is today, so it would be unreasonable to not discuss this when discussing American history. Black History is more than what we're taught in school (Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, March on Washington, etc.). It also encompasses the shared, lived experiences that have shaped the lives of Black people across America.