Black History Month Worksheets

When we grow up, we often look to others that we would view as successful to understand our own personal ceiling. It is natural to focus on those that look like us to identify what our own professional expectations should be. Sadly, the contributions of African Americans towards the development United States were often missing from most classes on United States History. In the early twentieth century several groups formed to bring attention to this. What originally started as a weeklong of observance has transitioned to full blown month of remembrance and has helped people of all colors understand the history of America better. February serves as the month of remembrance. As the country becomes a nation of great diversity, understanding that people from all walks of life are doing contribute to our communities and ultimately to further the human experience.

The History Behind the Creation of Black History Month

The foundation for this celebration all began when Harvard’s second ever African American doctoral graduate formal co-founded the Associations for the Study of Negro life and History in 1915. His name was Carter G. Woodson. The group cited the public scarcity of information on the contributions and achievements of Black people in the United States. How would youngsters feel like they had an opportunity to succeed when they did not know it was possible for people that looked like them and had a similar upbringing? At the time textbooks were devoid of any information like this.

Through public lobbying Woodson’s group helped launch Negro History Week which was observed during the second week of February. The timing of the celebration corresponded with that of the birthdays of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and United States President Abraham Lincoln. Douglass was an African American social reformer who become a national leader of the movement to bring slavery to and end. President Lincoln led the United States through the American Civil War where one of the major issues was the dissolution of slavery. Once the week was formally created in 1926 by the group many national leaders and schools began to recognize it.

In 1976 United States President Gerald Ford formally extended the week into a month and helped it gain national exposure. February has since been the month in which this was celebrated. Today, it honors the accomplishments of African Americans from the early seventeenth century under modern day. Many other countries have also begun to take our led and recognize this in their own nation realizing that helps richen the culture of all citizens.

There are several key figures that are often remembered during this month. The civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is often one of the most revered contributors towards American social civility progress. Rosa Parks is a well-known figure for taken a stance against racial inequality by refusing to give her seat up for a white person on the bus. This act of what was seen as civil disobedience, at the time, helped shift the culture in a positive direction. Muhammad Ali, a boxer by trade, in the later twentieth century had what was thought to be the most recognized human on the planet. He used this platform to point out the many injustices that took place around the world and often begin the debate on many socially and politically polarizing topics.