Question of the Week

What is the history of Black History Month?

The Matters team spoke with history instructor Christine Cina about the origins of Black History Month. Cina has taught Women’s History, Native American History, African History and African American History at the college since 1993. 

Before there was a Black History Month, Black History Week was established in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, an African-American historian. Woodson wanted to bring national attention to the contributions of Black people throughout American history. He chose the second week of February because it marks the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Fifty years later, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month. 

Published February 17, 2017.