Our schools do a wonderful job with Black History Month. Amazing depth and creativity are reflected in the lesson plans and the student activities developed by teachers that go hand in hand with the Standard Course of Study objectives being taught at each grade level.
We have celebrated Black History Month as a nation since 1976 when, in the Bicentennial Year of Nation’s Independence, President Gerald Ford first officially designated February as Black History Month. Presidents since that time have followed his lead. In 2010, President Barack Obama renamed the annual proclamation to read National African American History Month.
1976 was not, however, when the recognition first began. Black History Month grew from a previous week-long celebration which was an innovation of Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson, a prominent African-American leader and the founder of what is now known as the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH). The week-long celebration instigated by Dr. Woodson was officially launched in 1926 and was targeted to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history.
It is broadly represented that Dr. Woodson chose the month of February because it corresponded with birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14). Those names are most likely prominent in the study and discussions on Black History Month in 2011, as the ASALH-designated theme for this year is African Americans and the Civil War.
Carter G. Woodson said, “Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” During this month, Pitt County Schools’ teachers at all grade levels will be opening and expounding upon that “record” to which Dr. Woodson referred. I have no doubt that our students will not only be inspired but will also be captivated by this month’s historical study.
While February specifically honors the African Americans who helped build our country, state, and community; our teachers work diligently to incorporate the historical contributions from each of the many cultures represented in our diverse community. These contributions are woven into the curriculum throughout the school year.
Click here to review President Obama’s proclamation for National African American History Month for 2011.
Thank you and have a great week!