From 1926 to 2024: The Origin Behind Black History Month
The origins of Black History Month began in 1915, about fifty years after the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States.
A Harvard historian, Carter G. Woodson, and a prominent minister, Jesse E. Mooreland, founded an organization named The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), which sponsored a Negro History Week in 1926.
The group later changed and is known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). This organization is dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other people of African descent.
Negro History Week took place the second week in February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. As the event gained traction, schools and communities all over the country began to organize and host local celebrations — from history clubs, host performances and lectures.
Leading into the 1960’s and the Civil Rights movement, proclamations recognizing Negro History Week and awareness of Black Identity evolved into Black History Month in cities across the country.
In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month. The President called upon the public to seize the opportunity to pay honor and tribute to the often-neglected accomplishments of generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve equality throughout our history.
The 2024 Black History Month Theme is “African Americans and The Arts.” African American arts can be expressed through many different avenues such as poetry, writers, visual artists and dancers.
African Americans have drawn from their ancestors’ rites of passage and have used their crafts to be change agents throughout history. Black artists continue to use their creative expressions to infuse change and make progress for civil rights and liberties for African Americans.
At Wellpoint Care Network, we work to promote an inclusive environment. We want everyone on our teams to feel valued, accepted, respected and treated equitably.
Part of that work involves having several committees that employees can join. These committees are safe spaces for new or seasoned employees to lean into DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) within the workplace.
As chair of the Diversity Committee at Wellpoint Care Network, we will honor the 2024 Black History Month theme of “African Americans and The Arts” through weekly events we are hosting for employees to participate in.
Our goal is to bring knowledge and awareness throughout the entire month. We will have food, games, highlights of Black Art in its many different forms, as well as time to connect with one another.