In the USA, the month of February, annually, is celebrated as Black History Month. It is a time to pay homage to and to recognize the achievements and contributions that the African-American population has bestowed upon this country. For almost a century and a half after the US civil war (1861 – 1865), the history of Black Americans was, for all intents and purposes, completely ignored here in almost every public school system – despite the fact that the civil war itself was primarily fought to end the practice of the enforced slavery of African-Americans.
Initially, Black History Month began as a week designed to incorporate the history of persons of African descent into the minds of Black students only in a few select public schools. It soon evolved into the teaching the lives of notable Black artists, educators, inventors, merchants, musicians and scientists in addition to the general history of all citizens of this race from the Revolutionary War to what was then the current times.
What is now known as Black History Month was begun in 1926, when noted historian, Carter G. Woodson (the “father of Black History Month”) and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week in February to be “Negro History Week.” This particular week was selected in that it contained the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12, and the birthday of Frederick Douglass on February 14.
The initial Negro History Week was received with limited recognition. The state departments of education in Delaware, North Carolina and West Virginia endorsed the observance as did the public school administrations of Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, DC. Woodson did not give up hope on the concept. He was quoted as sharing “one of the fortunate steps ever taken by the Association.”
Carter G. Woodson also wrote in The Negro Journal in support of the celebration: “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.”
Throughout the 1930’s, Negro History Week continued to grow in acceptance. It contradicted the growing myth of White America in the South’s “lost cause” that argued that slaves had been well-treated and fairly cared for and that the Civil War was nothing more than a war of “northern aggression.”
The first observance of the entire month of February as Black History Month occurred at Kent State University in 1970. Then-President Gerald Ford was the first president to acknowledge and recognize Black History Month during the celebration of the USA Bicentennial in 1976.
The above emblem is one used to represent re-acquiring or re-learning and is synonymous with “renewal.” It originates from the Adinkra tribe in west Africa who reside primarily in the nation of Ghana. The specific name for this particular Adinkra symbol is sankofa and the proverb associated with it is: it is never too late to go back and to retrieve.” In other words, if we have forgotten something or lost something (knowledge), it behooves us to return and to start again.
Black History Month Recent Achievements:
President Obama was the first African-American to become elected as a president of this country. He was elected in 2008 and served in office from 2009 – 2016.
Vice-President Harris is the first woman to be elected to a national office and the first African-American to be elected as vice-president. She took office January 20, 2021.
In keeping with ReNude Pride’s mission of being bare and bisexual or gay and our tradition, we honor Black History Month every Friday during February by featuring posts celebrating our mission. Below is listed this year’s schedule:
Friday, February 5, 2021: Vintage Bare Gallery 1 – Single or Solo!
Friday, February 12, 2021: Vintage Bare Gallery 2 – Double or Duo!
Friday, February 19, 2021: Vintage Bare Gallery 3 – Trio or More!
Friday, February 26, 2021: Vintage Bare Gallery 4 – Interracial Interaction!
Happy Black History Month!
Author’s Note: The next posting here is planned for Friday, February 5, 2021, and the proposed topic is: Black History Month, Vintage Bare Gallery 1 – Single or Solo!