According to Wikipedia, Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. February was chosen for the national celebration of Black History because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and that of Frederick Douglass on February 14, both of which dates black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century (Wikipedia).
Last year at Goodwill, we had decided to center our focus during Black History Month to a month-long review of the contributions of Black fashion designers throughout history as well as featured fashion segments on Facebook Live. One example from the series is here https://www.cincinnatigoodwill.org/goodwill-salutes-iconic-fashion-designer-dapper-dan/
This year, we wanted to showcase the educational program currently being provided through our award-winning Center for Advocacy, Recreation and Education program about Black History Month and will be sharing video segments throughout the month as participants learn more about the historic leaders and achievements of many Black Americans.
We wanted to share some historical highlights that Wikipedia was kind enough to provide which included the following:
Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State a year later, from January 2 to February 28, 1970. [As a graduate of Kent State University, I found this fascinating and was surprised that I was unaware of this important historical precedent.]
Six years later, Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers, both great and small, when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month in 1976, during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. He urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”.
Through educational interactive sessions in Goodwill’s Center for Advocacy, Recreation and Education program, participants are learning more about iconic leaders as well as significant events during the celebration of Black History Month. To get an idea of what program participants are discovering, check out a recent video of an educational session here https://youtu.be/dvIXeBmiobw
Through its programs and services, Ohio Valley Goodwill joins the Greater Cincinnati community during the month of February to celebrate Black History and the significant achievements of many of our important African-American leaders over time.