Although the contributions of Black Americans can be appreciated all year long, celebrating Black History Month each February is an opportunity to give the history, culture, and achievements of Black America a spotlight that hasn’t always been available.
In 1926 this formal recognition first emerged as Negro History Week, an opportunity to encourage education about Americans and events that were not yet well known. The week was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, both of whom had been celebrated by Black communities since the late 19th century.
Since 1976, every United States President has designated February as Black History Month. President Gerald Ford asked Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout history.” Other nations--Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom--have also established month-long opportunities for discovery and honor.
Because understanding the breadth and depth of history means looking closely, Otselic Valley will be sharing historical facts and information all month long, primarily on our Facebook page. There is a lot to celebrate. Thank you for joining us.