Celebrating “Black History Month”
Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.
February 22, 1888
Painter Horace Pippin born
In West Chester, Pennsylvania, African American painter Horace Pippin was born. Pippin is considered one of the major American painters of his period. One of his more significant works, “John Brown Going to His Hanging,” is owned by the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
February 23, 1965
Constance Baker Motley elected Manhattan Borough President
Constance Baker Motley elected Manhattan Borough president, the highest elective office held by a Black woman in a major American city at that time.
February 24, 1864
First Black Woman to receive an M.D.
Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first black woman to receive an M.D. degree. She graduated from the New England Female Medical College. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was born in 1833. She worked from 1852-1860 as a nurse in Massachusetts.
February 25, 1948
Martin Luther King, Jr. Ordained
Martin Luther King is ordained as a Baptist Minister.
February 25, 1964
Muhammad Ali defeats Sonny Liston
Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston for world heavyweight boxing championship.
February 26, 1926
Negro History Week
Carter G. Woodson started Negro History Week. This week would later become Black History Month.
February 26, 1966
Andrew Brimmer becomes the first African American governor of the Federal Reserve Board when he is appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
February 27, 1988
Debi Thomas 1st Black to win winter Olympic Medal
Figure skater Debi Thomas becomes the first African American to win a medal (bronze) at the winter Olympic Games.
February 27, 1902
Marian Anderson born
On this day Marian Anderson, who will become a world-renowned opera singer and the first African American soloist to perform at theWhite House, is born in Philadelphia, PA.
February 28, 1870
Southern Blacks fled political and economic
Southern Blacks fled political and economic exploitation in “Exodus of 1879.” Exodus continued for several years. One of the major leaders of the Exodus movement was a former slave, Benjamin (“Pap”) Singleton.
Knowing our own history, or the history of our culture, is important because it helps us to know who we are while molding the future. Being familiar with past events gives us the ability not only to learn from past mistakes but also from the successes.
To me, the omission of any group from history teachings results in a limited understanding of history’s relationship with the present and future. Know your history.
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