Remembering nation’s Black history
Black History Month 2021 reflects on the tapestry presented by Black families and the role they have played in the African American experience.
“The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” is the theme that has been selected by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the founders of Black History Month. It’s a multi-facted topic, and one that looks at the many layers of the family, including the reverence that has been shown, the stereotypes that have been perpetuated and the parts that have been vilified from the time of slavery to the present.
Black History Month was established by Carter G. Woodson. Woodson, born in 1875 and the son of former slaves, himself a former coal miner and educator, understood a proper education was important in seeking to make the most out of one’s freedom. He earned his high school diploma in an all-black high school in Huntington and advanced degrees at the University of Chicago.
Woodson was the second African American to earn a doctorate at Harvard, before he established the association in 1915 and began “Negro History Week” in 1926 after recognizing a lack of information on the accomplishments of blacks in American history. February was chosen because of the correlation with the birthdays of abolitionist author Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
Taught the theories of “black inferiority” the same as white students when he earned his degrees, Woodson knew better, and knew his mission was to teach truth.
It’s knowledge that is available to all during Black History Month, and it presents an opportunty to ponder contributions in all walks of life, to be educated, to learn and to appreciate.