Black History Month 

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An image made into Artwork of two African American males protesting for equality with their fists raised. Symbolizing power from below and the solidarity between people joined in political struggle and oppression. ( photo courtesy by: public domain)

February officially marks the beginning of Black History Month for Americans. Black History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements of African Americans throughout U.S. history. 

Origin 

The Origin begins in 1915 half a century after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. In September the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodsen and prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of negro life and History (ASNLH).

The organization was dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black american and people of african descent. It is known today as The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). 

The group sponsored a national Nergro History Week in 1926 and they chose the second week of February because they lined up with Abraham Lincon and Fedrick Douglass’s birthdays. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs, and host performances and lectures. 

February officially became black history month in 1976 when President Gerald Ford called upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”. 

Now

Today, Black History Month is a time to honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans across U.S. history and time. They often choose a different theme every year to make sure they celebrate every aspect of the culture 

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History is in charge of selecting the annual theme which is then endorsed by the president. The Theme for 2024 BHM  is “African American and the Arts” 

This year’s theme focuses on Black Americans and the impacts they have had on performance and visual arts, music, fashion, language, film, Culinary, and many of their cultural movements. 

Many AA artists have used art to preserve their history and community memories and also for empowerment movements like hip hop, the black renaissance, and Afrofuturism all have been led by people of african descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world.

African Americans are the second-largest minority population in the U.S. There are currently 47.9 million black people living in the U.S. which is about 13.6% of the population. Over 76%  of those black people celebrate BHM, Gen Z being the most among the group.

Currently, at Leesville Road High School, there are 502 African Americans who attend — 258 male and 244 female out of the 3,429 students that attend that school. Based on a poll posted to the Leesville Mycenaenan Newspaper 79% of students who celebrate BHM and educate themselves more on the matter.

 Noah Martin, junior, said, “I think it is important but many people don’t speak or mention it, I kinda forget about it every year until I see it online and we don’t get properly educated about it.” 

BHM may sometimes get overlooked by people seeing as it isn’t a major holiday that everyone celebrates also for Ireland and The United Kingdom. 

It may also be hard for a teacher to incorporate into their already planned lessons but speaking about it can help Black Americans be heard.

Jocelyn Harris-Johnson, junior, said,” I believe Black History Month is important because I feel people should know our history and the struggle our people had to overcome just to be treated like human beings and it should be shared and celebrated.” 

 Black people went through many struggles, fighting oppression and discrimination on a daily basis. They fought and marched their way to freedom to benefit us and our generation. A month in celebration is underappreciation for those who risked their lives for our people. 

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