February is Black History Month. This is a nationwide celebration of the achievements of African Americans and a time to recognize their role in U.S. history. Since 1976, each U.S. president has designated the month of February as Black History Month.
This month is an important time for all of us to reflect on the achievements of African-Americans throughout history and today. I would like to highlight the importance of this month and provide some information about its development.
According to History.com editors, “the story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland helped found an organization “dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent.” Today, this organization is known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). The organization chose the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. As a result, many communities across the nation organized and promoted celebrations, history clubs, programs, events and lectures.
The week-long celebration soon grew into a month-long celebration. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month 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.” Ten years later in 1986, the U.S. Congress designated the month of February as “National Black History Month.”. President Ronald Reagan noted in a proclamation that “the foremost purpose of Black History Month is to make all Americans aware of this struggle for freedom and equal opportunity.”
In proclaiming February 2021 National Black History Month recently, President Joseph Biden said, “I call upon public officials, educators, libraries, and all the people of the U.S. to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.”
For more information about Black History Month, please visit the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. ASALH notes that the theme for 2021 is the Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.
Also, Texas A&M- Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) has a schedule of events for February as Black History Month. For more information and events visit Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Black History Month.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents part of Nueces County. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-463-0672.