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  • 1930's
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The beginning of Black History Month

Once known as “Negro History Week”, Black History Month first came about during the 1920s when Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson organized a campaign that included lectures, meetings, exhibitions, etc., in order to change the distorted view of black history.

The son of former slaves and the second black person to receive a degree from Harvard University, Carter Woodson understood the value of education. He also felt the importance of preserving one’s heritage and, upon his urgings, the fraternity Omega Psi Phi created Negro History and Literature Week in 1920. In 1926, Woodson changed the name to Negro History Week. He selected the month of February for the celebration as a way to honor of the birth of two men whose actions drastically altered the future of black Americans. Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. President who issued the Emancipation Proclamation was born on February 12th and Frederick Douglass, one of the nation’s leading abolitionists was born on February 14th.

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