The observation of Black History Month dates back to 1926 when Carter G. Woodson, now known as the “Father of Black History,” called for a week in early February to celebrate and raise awareness of Black history. Beginning in 1970, that week-long observance became Black History Month. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month along with a theme.
The Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH) has declared that the 2022 Black History Month theme is “Black Health and Wellness: Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health Matters” and explores “the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora.”
“Oftentimes Black history is taught as a celebration of this great man or this great woman, but that wasn’t what Woodson had in mind,” said Albert Broussard, a history professor at Texas A&M University and the author of multiple books on African-American history. “He wanted this time to be a celebration of the achievement of Black people as a race, recognizing that Blacks were part of the history of this country from the very beginning.”
Even though Black Americans have contributed greatly to society throughout American history, Black history itself is just now becoming a widely taught subject. Black history is American history.
To honor and help preserve this history, Semmes will be providing a virtual tour of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History and Culture to all our staff and attorneys.
If you wish to help preserve African-American history, consider donating to one of the below institutions. Links connect you directly to the organization’s donations page.