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February is known as Black History Month. How did it originate?

Black History Month is a celebration of achievements by African Americans, a time for recognizing their role in U.S. history

African American history month actually grew from an event called “Negro History Week” which was the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.

According to History.com, the story of Black History Month started in 1915, which is half a century after the thirteenth amendment abolished slavery in the U.S.

Harvard historian Carter G. Woodson and prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other people of African descent.

The group started Negro History Week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The week prompted schools and communities across the country to start history clubs and host performances and lectures, history.com said.

With the arrival of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s and a growing awareness of black identity, Negro History Week evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976. Since then, every American president has designated February as Black History Month with a specific theme.

This year’s theme is “Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity Exploring The African Diaspora And The Spread Of Black Families Across The U.S.”