UNITED STATES – Booker T. Washington was a man with a vision. Martin Luther King was a human with a dream. Rosa Parks was a women with courage. Today, Feb. 1, represents the beginning of a month of celebration of the African-American men and women throughout America’s history who battled discrimination and oppression. This month also serves as away to recognize the many monumental accomplishments of African-Americans when the odds were not usually in their favor.

The recognition of Black History Month took almost 50 years for the entire United States to recognize. The celebration was originally recognized as Negro History Week in 1926 by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History founded by historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland. The week was celebrated on the second week of February coinciding the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

For years following the weeks establishment, major cities across the United States began issuing proclamation recognizing Negro History Week. The weeks transformation to a month did occur in height of the Civil Rights Movement – the late 1960s. During this time, the importance of understanding black identity grew and many college campuses began recognizing the entire month of February as Black History Month.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month as a National Celebration to honor the frequently neglected accomplishments of blacks throughout history. Since then, every US president has recognized Black History Month and developed a specific theme around it each year.

Today, many schools hold a Black History Month program to educate students on the many accomplishments set by African Americans throughout history.

Caitlyn McTier for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.