February marks Black History Month

Ready to celebrate the contributions of famous African Americans such as Martin Luther King Jr.? Black History Month, more properly known as “African American History Month”, began Monday and runs through Feb. 29.

Black History Month grew out of Negro History Week which was founded in 1915 by Harvard historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. February was chosen because it contains the birthdays of two of the most notable abolitionists: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas.

“I think it’s a good thing that there’s a Black History month,” junior Malcolm Chavez-Grey said.”The accomplishments and things that some African Americans have done in the past haven’t been recognized. I think the month kind of gives credit to those whose accomplishments were unappreciated.

Junior Rohan Patel said the celebration points to progress in our society.

“It’s a good thing,” he said.”It shows that we’ve moved forward against racism and towards equality. Before African Americans were not treated equally, but now there’s a lot of change and it’s better.”

Black History Month  spread to the UK in 1987, and Canada adopted the celebration in 1995 after it was proposed by politician Jean Augustine.

But Black History Month has its detractors, including Academy Award winning actor Morgan Freeman, who argues that every race’s history is American history, and there’s no point in only celebrating for a month.

By Billy Macom