masthead-highres

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Black History Month: Why February?

This Project 21 commentary by C. Mason Weaver is seven years old, but it still gets a lot of traffic on Project 21's website:
This is Black History Month. I wonder who picked the coldest, wettest, shortest month of the year to remember the history of African people and their descendants in America? How did we come to have Black History Month in February?

Why not remember the history of Black people during January for the month Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and the birthday of Dr. King? Perhaps, we could recognize it during December for the make-believe holiday of Kwanzaa. How about June in recognition of "Juneteenth," the liberation of slaves in Texas?

Why February? Slavery was abolished by Congress in April 1862; the thirteenth amendment was ratified in December of 1865. Why not one of these months? The modern history of Africans in America began with the arrival of Columbus; slavery began in August 1619 at Jamestown, Virginia...
Lots of food for thought.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 11:56 PM

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