The Importance of Black History Month


Taylor Barnes

For African-Americans, February holds a special place in their hearts as it is the annual celebration of their achievements. It is specifically a celebration of what they have attained in the past and the accomplishments they continue to make.  

Black History Month all started in 1915, which was about a half of a century after the Thirteenth Amendment had abolished slavery in the United States. In the decades that followed, people of high status, such as mayors, issued and recognized “Negro History Week.” This was in the late 1960s, and the Civil Rights Movement played a big part in this, as African Americans took pride in their black identity and pushed themselves into positions where people said they didn’t belong.

Additionally, our former President Gerald Ford, officially designated February for Black History Month in 1976.  

 As Ford stated, “Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” 

Since then every U.S. President who has stepped into the office has issued a proclamation in honor of Black History Month. Even other countries have their own designated month to celebrate Black History Month.

Katherine G. Johnson, an African-American mathematician for National Aeronautics and Space Administration, expressed, “I felt most proud of the success of the Apollo mission. They were going to the moon, and I computed the path to get there.”

For African-Americans, their past runs deep in the history of America. They’ve gone from handling the worst despair ever to conquering hardships and overcoming the people that used to look down on them. 

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, the first black woman to receive a P.H.D. in economics in the United States, once said, “I knew well that the only way I could get that door open was to knock it down; because I knocked all of them down.”

Black History Month continues to unite, celebrate diversity, bring importance to African American stories, and bring African Americans beyond the history books. This is why Black History Month is continuously celebrated as it gives voices to unheard stories for black people in America.

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