By EEW Magazine Editors // Black History Month Feature
It is important to know our history, because only by knowing where we came from can we know where we’re going. Things done in the past affect us in the future, for better or worse, and help teach us how to respond to issues we face today.
This is why EEW Magazine is proud to celebrate Black History Month with a special series spotlighting a different African-American figure Monday-Friday all month long.
Today we highlight historian Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, who was responsible for pronouncing the second week of February to be Negro History Week back in 1926.
Before Black History Month, Negro History Week was chosen because it encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It was established to encourage the study of African-American History in schools and history books.
“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,” Woodson said in regard to the need of such a study.
Due to gaining considerable popularity with teachers and mayors (as well as prompting the formation of many black history clubs) throughout the following decades, the week was expanded to a month, and therefore it was renamed Black History Month.
In 1976, Black History Month was officially recognized by the U.S. government as a national holiday.
Woodson died on April 3, 1950, as a highly revered figure. His legacy continues on, with Black History Month being a national cultural force.
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