Each February we engage in a celebration of the incredible achievements by African Americans and also appreciating the role African Americans have played in the United States history.   African American History Month evolved from the previous Negro History Week.  Negro History Week was thought of by Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African American.  Since 1976, every president in the United States has designated February as “Black History Month.”  Additionally, in the United Kingdom and Canada a month is devoted to celebrating black history.

The Very Beginning

The origins of Black History Month date back to 1915.  In September of 1915 Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.  Carter G. Woodson (December 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950) was an American historian, author, and journalist.  He is considered the father of black history.  Jesse E. Moorland was an American minister, community executive and civic leader.  The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History is an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and others of African descent.

The organization is today known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).  This organization began sponsor a Negro History week in 1926.  The second week of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  Following the establishment of Negro History week schools, community organization and the public began to organize celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.

Thereafter mayors of cities across the country began issuing proclamations recognizing Negro History Week.  By the late 1960s, Negro History Week became Black History Month on college campuses.  President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Black History Month Today

Since President Ford officially recognized black history Month, every President thereafter has designated February as Black History Month and it has also followed a specific theme.  The Black History Month 220 theme, “African Americans and the Vote.”  This is an effort to honor the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (1920) granting women’s suffrage and the sesquicentennial of the fifteenth amendment (1770) giving black men the right to vote.

Lamar Law Office, LLC is honored to recognize the accomplishments of African Americans in the legal system and beyond this February.