A Black History Month Reflection

Phyllis Duncan

Published 23 February 2023

Happy Black History Month.

Shalom, my name is Phyllis Duncan and I am an Assistant at Peace and Friendship House. This month’s reflection is on how Black History Month started and how important it is that we keep the memories of those who came before us and those now who have contributed so much to our world.

As a child, February was an exciting time for me, this was the month that we would have assemblies with art, music, poetry, and dance done by the students. Every year I participated from 5th to 8th grade.

Black History Month, once called Negro History Week was started by Carter G. Woodson, who in 1926 first set out to promote and educate people about the history of Black People and culture. Woodson envisioned a weeklong celebration to encourage the teaching of Black History in school. He designated the second week of February as Negro History Week. The idea wasn’t to place limitations, but to focus and broaden the nation’s consciousness.

The idea eventually grew in acceptance, and by the late 1960’s, Negro History Week had evolved into what is now Black History Month. In 1976 President Gerald R. Ford officially made Black History Month a holiday.

As an African American woman I feel it is my duty to continue to educate my grandchildren and others about our rich history, culture and the many gifts we gave to the world.

Let’s Celebrate the History of Black Americans

Source: NPR Article