Black History Month Facts

Black history month will be celebrated during February each year with the aim of introducing the lives of many important black people in the books and journal and to give them equal respect and dignity. The black history month celebrate the contribution of African Americans. The celebration started in 1926 as a full week observation but was later changed to a month long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen as the birthday of two very important black personalities, Abraham Lincoln and Frederic Douglass falls in the month.

Some Facts about Black History Month

  • Africa was called the Dark Continent as little was known about this great continent and it was always a mystery of unexplored land and forest for people from other continents.
  • In the sixteenth century the slave trade started in Africa and during the seventeenth century, hundreds and thousands of men, women and children were taken as slaves to other continents. The majority of slaves who were traded to America were from West Africa. Peculiar Institution for Slavery was the name given to the slavery practiced in North America.
  • The general abolishment of slavery came into effect in the end of nineteenth century. During the 1840's the controversies about slavery started dominating even the nation's politics. After Abraham Lincoln became the president, on January 1, 1863, he declared the emancipation proclamation that abolished practice of slavery of any sort.
  • National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was a civil right organization formed by many African American leaders on February 12 1909. This organization was born out of the racial riots and racial violence in the early twentieth century at Springfield Illinois.
  • Haiti became the first African country free from slavery after it defeated the French army.
  • Black History Month started as Negro History Week and was introduced by Carter G Woodson; a historian, scholar and educationalist. He was pained by the knowledge that not one of the history textbooks or any other textbooks taught about any important African personalities or their contribution to mankind. All that was taught was about the slave system and the racial discrimination.
  • A century after the emancipation proclamation, the racial discrimination was still followed and the blacks were prevented from going to the same schools and the same restaurants where the whites went. This discrimination spurred the civil right movement which took place between 1950's and 1980's.
  • The civil right movement which started with small protest and was supported by many leaders and organization finally brought about a change in the discrimination based on color and slavery was almost totally abolished.

Some Important Personalities in History of Africa

  • Abraham Lincoln the sixteenth president of America was the person to introduce the Emancipation Proclamation and to free the Africans from slavery. Though he was a Caucasian, he is a very important person in the African history. Some historians do believe that he has a black ancestry.
  • Martin Luther king Jr was a social activist and he was the leader of the civil right movement from the 1950's in United States. He continued his fight against segregation based on color until he was assassinated in1968.
  • Frederic Douglas was one of the first leaders of the abolitionist movement which took place to end practice of slavery. This abolitionist and politician was born in a slave cabin and spent the initial years of his life as a slave.
  • Jack Johnson was the first black heavy weight boxing champion and fought professionally from1897 to 1928.
  • Thurgood Marshall who served on Supreme Court from 1967 to 1991 was the first African American to be appointed to the supreme court of United States.
  • Shirley Chisholm was the first African American women candidate to be elected to the House of representative in 1968.
  • Dr. Mae Jameson is an astronaut and physician who became the first African American women to go into space.
  • Barack Obama the forty fourth president of the United States of America is the first African American to hold the country's highest office.

Today more than 41 million African Americans live in the United States. Many of these people have marked contributions to different sectors of human life like medicine, science, sports and arts, and many have shown their ability and talents in sectors like television and drama. Oprah Winfrey, Mohammed Ali, Will Smith and Barack Obama are some of the African Americans who are admired and respected around the world for the person they are rather than the skin they are in.

Black History Month Related Topics