Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

5 Facts about Black History Month

Updated Published
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Clark chapter.

Black History Month starts Saturday, February 1st and goes until Saturday, February 29th this year. This month is monumental for celebrating those who have made an impact on the black community, however, it is not to say they should only be celebrated for a month. The celebration and recognition should every day, 365 days a year, 24 hours of the day, in everyday conversation, etc. How much do you know about Black History? Here are some facts you probably did not know (if you already knew all of this, good for you!).

  1. Carter G. Woodson is the creator of Black History Month. He wanted an event that would educate people on the struggles, achievements, and origins of African Americans in the United States. Woodson went on to earn his Ph.D. from Harvard University. That started out as “Negro History Week” expanded into the whole month of February. You might be wondering…why did he pick February?
  2. Woodson chose February in devotion to Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, whose birthdays are both in February. African Americans celebrated the historic achievements of both prominent men. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, Frederick Douglas, a former slave, did not know his actual birthday so picked February 14.
  3. Black history month is not just celebrated in the USA, Canada also celebrates the month. Other countries celebrate BHM in October and some celebrate the unofficial month.
  4. Bayard Rustin, a key in the famous March on Washington, was a civil rights leader who was put in jail repeatedly for his involvement in social disturbances. Rustin was also very open about being homosexual.
  5. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on Maya Angelou’s 40th birthday. The two met and became friends during the Civil Rights Era. It seemed they had a brother/sister kind friendship with each other and would love cracking jokes together. Angelou was devasted upon finding out about the assassination of Dr.King. She stopped celebrating her birthday for many years and would send flowers to King’s widow, Coretta King.