Finding Black History….
We are officially 14 days into the month of February. In this century, Black History Month is celebrated nationally. Unlike most of White America and its European roots, Black history stirs much emotion amongst African American descendants and Black Americans. Feelings such joy, triumph, generational pain, victory, and confusion, are some. Author, Spring Washam, noted a term called African Grief, in her first published book, titled A Fierce Heart. As she expressed in one of the chapters Meeting the Great Chief, “It was as though ten thousand years of ancestral sorrow was coming straight through my heart, and so I called it “African grief”. For all people who are descendants of Africa and African roots, Black History Month is not just a month-long celebration, but a lifelong journey of the trials, tribulations, and triumphs as the world earned and continues to learn and accepts the original Kings of Queens of this world.
There was a point that Black History was not celebrated and when it started, it was only a week long. Great African historical achievements have been accomplished long before Black History Month became a nationally celebrated holiday. For example, the construction and present-day monuments of the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. We can humbly thank Carter G. Woodson for the appreciation of historical black humans that came before him. A one-week celebration called the Negro History Week started the domino effect of what has now surpassed almost two centuries of Black greatness.
In 1926, Negro History Week was created by Carter G. Woodson. However, the story of Black history being recognized as a national holiday began in 1915. It wasn’t until 1976 when President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month as a national month-long celebration. African/Black people, including myself, have had our share of complaints.
Including Black History Month being the shortest month of the year of all the months available to celebrate. Ironically, I don’t believe that the number of days in the month was Woodson concerns when he created the Negro History Week. February was purposely chosen because of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass and their contributions to the advancement of African American descendants since the early 19th century.
Woodson desired for the knowledge, recognition, discoveries, and history in schools, papers, and anything that African Americans continue to be involved with to be relevant and known. One can only image that Woodson greatly wanted the history that was hidden from our mental knowledge banks to finally be set free into the world of African American people and people we’ve have to share this world with. From college campus, churches, schools, and organizations like the NAACP, Negro History Week spread across the nation. It wasn’t until years after the death of Woodson when the idea of Black History Month became reality.
Presently, we’ve endured the balanced fall and rise of the cotton industry, Nat Turner’s Revolt, Civil Rights Movement, Jim Crow Laws, Little Rock Nine, Civil War, World War I & II, Woolworth’s Lunch counter, March on Washington, Bloody Sunday, L.A. Riots, Jena 6, the NAACP, assassination of prominent Black leaders (Martin Luther King Jr, Malcom X, etc.,), Dread Scott Case, John Brown’s Raid, Separate but Equal, Marcus Garvey and the UNIA, Harlem Renaissance, Brown vs. Board of Education, Emmett Till, Freedom Riders, Birmingham Church Bombing, Voting Rights Action, Shirley Chisholm’s run for President, Million Man March, Colin Powell becoming Secretary of State, N.W.A., 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, Black Power Movement, Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and the first Black Family, the Obama’s, and first elected African American President, Barack H. Obama.
Finding Black History is just an understatement for this paragraph, we’ve been the foundation of ALL history that has touched every corner of this world. The imprint that has been left whether good or bad is….Black Discovery, Inventions, Resistance, Leadership, and Greatness! Carter G. Woodson was born December 19th 1875 and died April 3rd 1950. “The more you know your history, the more liberated you are”, was quoted by Maya Angelou. Marcus Garvey proclaimed, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots. Woodson said, “We are going back to that beautiful history and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements”. So the next time you or anyone are on a search to truly find Black History, be sure to start with Carter G. Woodson and let your ancestors guide you on the path of the African Great Truths. Finding Black History begins every day you look in the mirror because black greatness is a reflection of you.
African lineage trivia…Who are Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure? Come by Black World Books and let us know for a spotlight recognition and receive a 10% discount on selected items in the store.
A Firece Heart, by Spring Washam can be purchased in store at Black World Books. Please call ahead so we can confirm that we have available books on hand.
The History of Black History Month.
Origins of Black History Month. https://asalh.org/about-us/origins-of-black-history-month/
Research & Written by: Empress Owl
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