What started as a way to remember important people and events in the history of the African descendants’ community, has now grown into a nation-wide celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time to recognize the central role of black people in U.S. history.
The Black History appreciation initiative first started in 1926 by writer and educator Dr. Carter G. Woodson with a week dedicated to remembrance. Woodson thought that it should always be celebrated in the second week of February, between the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two prominent individuals in abolishing slavery and advocating the rights of blacks. Black History Month emerged from the week when it was officially recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976. President Ford said that the public should “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Every president since 1976 has made February Black History Month.
Each year Black History Month has had a theme. The 2019 theme is “Black Migrations”, honoring the continuous movement of blacks from the south to the north, from the farms to the cities, and from poverty to the top of business, politics, the arts, etc. Black History Month is meant to remind people of the struggles, trials, and successes of black people in the past and present. It allows us to recognize the past, see where we have come, and look toward the future. The month provides and opportunity to highlight the best of the African American history and culture. People deserve to be aware of Black History Month and all that black people have contributed to the American society.
Communities In Schools of Jacksonville wants their students to understand the importance of this month and what it means. CIS students are participating in multiple activities and events to celebrate Black History Month and all that it stands for. Andrew A. Robinson Elementary is presenting a showcase. Students will be reciting poems, speeches, and acting as those significant in history. Carter G. Woodson Elementary created a Black History Month program and Pickett Elementary is having a parent’s night to honor the month.
To learn more about Communities In Schools of Jacksonville’s programs, click here.