While we honor the accomplishments and history of African-Americans every day of the year, the month of February has been dedicated to celebrating Black History in the United States since 1976. Black History Month began as Negro History Week in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson, with the primary purpose of encouraging teaching the history of Black people in America in public schools. Today, Black History Month is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Black History Month is now a time to not only celebrate the achievements of notable African-Americans, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Harriet Tubman, the namesake of our organization, but also recognize the accomplishments within the African Diaspora—the wide disperse of people of African descent in the world.
Recently, Black History Month has been given themes to represent the year. The theme for 2019 is Black Migrations, announced earlier this month by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
According to ASALH, this year’s theme “emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities,” and “equally lends itself to the exploration of the century’s later decades from spatial and social perspectives, with attention to ‘new’ African Americans because of the burgeoning African and Caribbean population in the US; Northern African Americans’ return to the South; racial suburbanization; inner-city hyperghettoization; health and environment; civil rights and protest activism; electoral politics; mass incarceration; and dynamic cultural production.”
To read what else Black Migrations means to the history of Black people in United States, head to ASSLH’s website.
Events take place across the country to celebrate Black History Month, including a variety of film screenings, concerts, museum exhibits, and lectures. February 11 is National African American Parent Involvement Day, a call to action for parents who are encouraged to spend with their children at school and foster dialogue and conversation with teachers, staff, and children. African Heritage Day will take place at the Capitol on February 27 celebrating the diaspora in Minnesota. For more events in the Twin Cities, visit Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder’s website for weekly updates.
Happy Black History Month!