African American culture is rich and full of history that embraces cultures around the world. When Black History Month first began in 1926, it lasted only one week. Several decades later, it would be transformed into a federally recognized annual observance. Many Americans of all races, cultures and economic status celebrate this vital and diverse heritage during the month of February each year.
If you have not yet discovered ways to immerse yourself in the contributions, wisdom, philosophies, music, literature, community culture and festivals of African American celebration, now is the perfect time to do so. Here are some suggestions as to how you and your loved ones can join in the celebration of Black History Month!
1. Take the time to learn all about African American mentors and influential members of society who have helped to promote good relationships within the home, community and all over the world. For example, learn all about black mathematician and astronomer Benjamin Banneker or Thomas Jennings, the first known African American who held a patent and used money from his invention to fund abolitionist causes.
2. Visit local libraries, museums, galleries and seminars that highlight the many historical milestones associated with African American culture. For example, learn all about the 1896 landmark legal case of Brown v. Board of Education where the Supreme Court ruled that blacks and whites could have separate but equal facilities, leading 21 states to allow segregation in public schools.
4. Join in the celebration. Cities and towns across the nation enjoy frequent cultural celebrations during the month of February. It is the perfect time to take part in the essence and spirit of the observance. President Barack Obama, Black History Month is a “story of resilience and perseverance” that has to be told. “We celebrate the rich legacy of African-Americans and honoring the remarkable contributions they have made to perfect our Union,” Obama said in a White House proclamation. Take this time to celebrate the struggles, hopes and dreams of an American race that touches the deepest part of the heart.
What are you most excited about Black History Month this February?