Every February, as a nation we celebrate Black History Month in order to commemorate the accomplishments and achievements of African-Americans.
Black History Month originated in 1915, 50 years after the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolished slavery following the Civil War.
A Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and a prominent minister, Jesse E. Moorland, founded an organization today known as the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History. That organization is dedicated to researching and promoting the achievements and role that people of African descent have had throughout history.
The organization conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925, and celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Fredrick Douglass. The week-long event grew in popularity to the point where schools and communities across the United States would host their own performances and lectures celebrating black accomplishments.
By the 1960s, and in the midst of the Civil Rights movement, the week-long celebration evolved into Black History Month.
President Gerald Ford was the first president in the United States to officially designate February as Black History Month. Every president since then has followed suit.
OneEighty and other advocacy groups across Wooster, Wayne County, and the state of Ohio are united in spreading the message President Ford initially touched on when he called upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”