Celebrating Black History Month is a ‘cultural necessity’ for all Americans

Celebrating Black History Month is a cultural necessity for all Americans.

In February 1926, Carter G Woodson, a historian, author and founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History ignited the first Negro History Week.

Woodson selected a specific week that included Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglas’s birthday, due to their significant roles in the history of Black Americans.

In 1975, President Gerald Ford officially acknowledged and urged all Americans to recognize Black History Week. This act led his successors to continue supporting Black History Week, while encouraging everyone to recognize the important contributions made by Black citizens.

In 1986, the United States Congress successfully passed Public Law 99-244, which codified February 1986 as the first National Black (Afro-American) History Month. This

law stated that Feb. 1, 1986 would be the beginning of the sixtieth annu- al public and private salute to Black history.

President Ronald Reagan issued Presidential Proclamation 5443, which proclaimed that the purpose of Black History Month is to ensure all Americans are aware of the struggle for freedom and equal opportunity.

Since 1996, presidents have formally issued annual proclamations in support of Black History Month. In January 1996, President Bill Clinton issued Presidential Proclamation 6863 in support of National African American History Month emphasizing the theme for that year: the achievement of Black women.

In February 1996, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 229 which honors Black History Month and the several contributions of Black U.S. Senators.

America is a very diverse country which is why it is a necessity for everyone to actively participate and celebrate Black History Month.