152 Black History Month (February)   published: 050301

February is Black History Month.  Our office calendars don’t mark this, but we sometimes see articles on Black History Month in the newspaper and web sites in February. Also, there are some events related to Black History Month during this month. 

Qs From a Japanese:  “I've a Q.  Do you know that February is Black History Month?  How popular is this Black History Month?  I guess it depends upon who I ask.”  

Here are two Americans’ responses to the question on Black History Month.

American A:

“Regarding Black History Month, I have heard of it.  I think I first heard of it in college, maybe in the late 1980s.  I could be wrong -- maybe it started later, but that is the impression that I have.

It is popular now in schools, colleges, and universities I think.  I believe that they focus, in classrooms, on the contributions of blacks to this nation's development and history.  There probably are some community events this month.

The average person on the street may not have heard of it, especially older, non-black persons. 

I would have guessed that January was the month, with MLK Day in January.  But I suppose that day is a good way to kick off Black History Month.

So you can see that I have a fuzzy idea of what Black History Month is.”

American B:

“No, I didn't even know February was black history month. I'm sure this would be mentioned in the news but I don't watch the news much so I didn't even hear about it. I don't think this is very popular. I don't remember hearing anyone ever talk about it (any year).”


What? You’re still there?  Do you wanna know what the origin of Black History Month is?  You’re curious about everything, aren’t you?  J  (   OK,  for the origin, see web sites, for example, < Black History Month - Black History - HISTORY.com  > ; < http://www.historychannel.com/blackhistory/ >*   * broken link as 02/21/2016 

According to the above web site, Dr. Carter G. Woodson (Harvard Scholar) organized the 1st Negro History Week on the 2nd week of February, 1926.  The reason why he chose the 2nd week was that this week has the birthdays of Frederick Douglass (abolitionist) and Abraham Lincoln, both of who contributed to banning slavery to a great extent.  Woodson’s intention was to make "the world see the Negro as a participant rather than as a lay figure* in history."  Now, Negro History Week became Black History Month.
*  One more Q, Please : What is a lay figure?
A:  I believe "lay figure" in this sentence means someone who is not active in events.

4929 140201  Marylander Harriet Tubman honored with Google Doodle  (Baltimore Sun, Carrie Wells, 02/01/2014)
The Underground Railroad is just part of the story: 9 facts about black history in the Tri-State  (WCPO, Roxanna Swift, 02/01/2014)
Harriet Tubman Biography - Facts, Birthday, Life Story - Biography.com
Harriet Tubman - Wikipedia 
c. 1822 – March 10, 1913, an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and, during the American Civil War, a Union spy. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad....
Black History Month - Wikipedia
Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad Video - America The Story of Us - HISTORY.com
The Underground Railroad - National Geographic Education
Underground Railroad - Wikipedia

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