Celebrating Black History Month


Katy Cornish, Staff Writer

February brings Valentine’s Day, President’s Day and Black History Month. Black History is honored in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. It originally started off as “Negro History Week” which was founded by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. In the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, it is celebrated in October.

Originally, the “Negro History Week” was only the second week of February. These dates coincided with Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays. However, 50 years later, Black History Month was proposed by black educators at Kent State University. One year after this, Kent State University held the first celebration of Black History Month. Six years later, it was being celebrated all over the United States.

Many people criticized this because it was a dedication of history for one race. In addition, schools are criticized for only teaching about slaves and colonials, and not teaching about the positive role models that were influential. Actors such as Morgan Freeman don’t believe that we need a month dedicated to Black culture. He is quoted to have said, “I don’t want a Black history Month. Black history is American history.” He has also said that white citizens do not have a history month, because white people do not want to regulate their history to one month.

Despite the criticism, Black History Month is celebrated. Many people listen to influential music such as blues and ragtime, and make popular foods including hushpuppies, collared greens, and cobbler. Soul food and Caribbean food are very popular for this month-long celebration.  There are festivals and events in various cities. There is a calendar full of events going on here in Lexington including a showcase for students.