Celebrating Black History Month

Recognizing Struggles & Triumphs of African Americans
Posted on 03/01/2023
Important figures for Black History Month

by Noah Killeen, managing editor

February just ended, but it’s important to take time to recognize that February holds a greater significance than the red and pink roses or plush teddy bears we find on doors around Valentine's Day. February is reserved as Black History Month, a period of time set aside to recognize and amplify the contributions that African Americans made throughout history. 


Black History Month began as a celebration created by Carter G Woodson in 1915; Woodson, a historian and educator, traveled with thousands of African Americans to Chicago, Illinois, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of emancipation. In the city, exhibits showcased the great strides toward freedom the African American community has made since the abolition of slavery. In awe of the three-week celebration, he left Chicago and established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH).


The organization developed Negro Achievement Week in 1926, which was the first attempt at creating a national holiday for African American achievement. He chose February as the month for this holiday because it contained two birthdays of men who made strides towards freeing the Africajavascript:void(0);n American community - Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Because of the drastic demand for learning and progress the week contained, it was renamed Black History Month in recognition of its importance.


Since its origin, the month has been celebrated by informing new audiences about the progress and strides African Americans have made in the nation. Many schools host guest-speaker nights to tell about their experiences as an African American, museums host informative festivities about Civil Rights Movements and those alike, and institutions fundraise for black-owned businesses. No matter the celebration, communities come together to recognize that black history and America’s history have been entwined since the founding of the nation.


At EFHS, a variety of events were held to ensure students were aware of the month’s importance. Every morning, a black historical leader was discussed on the intercom as a means of amplifying African American figures. Further, CoExist has been selling stickers at lunch with “Black History Month” imprinted on them for students to display.


With Black History Month having just ended, it’s important to reflect and understand that the struggles and triumphs of the African American community shouldn’t just be limited to one month. By staying consistent with our research of Black leaders and communities, we can better preserve democracy and ensure equality prevails for all communities in America.



“Origins of Black History Month.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History, https://asalh.org/about-us/origins-of-black-history-month/.