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History of Black History Month

Every February in the U.S. and Canada we acknowledge the entire month as Black History Month. It’s a month where the achievements and contributions of African Americans are recognized and celebrated. While it’s something we have come to be accustomed to it has not always been in existence. Let’s look at the history of Black History Month.

In 1915, historian Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), whose mission it was to recognize and promote achievements of people of African descent.  

In 1926, the ASNLH sponsored a national Negro History Week during the second week of February, to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. The initiative led to schools and communities to organize lectures, performances, and events surrounding the week.   

In the years that followed, cities began acknowledge the week and it eventually became National Black History Month in the late1960’s. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976. Since then, every President has officially acknowledged Black History Month. 

Black History Month Quotes

These quotes made by African American men and women are just a few inspirational quotes made by proud African Americans over the years.  They should be shared not just during Black History Month, but every month.

“History has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own. –Michelle Obama

“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.” –  W.E.B. Du Bois

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

“In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” – Thurgood Marshall

“Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” – Coretta Scott King

“Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” – Carol Moseley-Braun

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson

“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.” – Desmond Tutu

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.” – Malcom X

“It isn’t where you come from; it’s where you’re going that counts.” – Ella Fitzgerald

“Character is power.” – Booker T. Washington

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks

“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Freedom is never given; it is won.” – A. Philip Randolph

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