Black History Month is a time designated to highlighting achievements and contributions of African Americans that historically weren’t as focused on in traditional history classes. Here are 5 things any Texas mom should share with your child about Black History Month.
- Black History Month is nearly 100 years old! Black History Month was originally created in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson as a week long celebration that coincided with the birthdays of Civil War leaders Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. During the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s many colleges adopted the month as a celebration. It was officially recognized in 1976 by President Gerald Ford.
- It is not just something recognized in America. Canada and Great Britain also have Black History Month. Canada celebrates theirs in February and Great Britain in October.
- Texans had a big impact! There is a ton of Texas influence in African American history. Juneteenth was when slaves were freed in Texas. Sweatt v Painter was a Supreme Court Case involving the University of Texas that set the precedent used in Brown v Board of Education ending segregation in public schools. Barbara Jordan was was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and the first southern black female elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Lyndon B Johnson was the U.S. President from Texas who championed the cause of Civil Rights and signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. If your kids want something more interactive show them Jordan’s keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention of 1992 or Johnson’s “We Shall Overcome” speech; both are amazingly inspirational.
- History Matters. One of the biggest reasons to celebrate and immerse yourself and your children in history celebrations is because it matters. The history of African American people in America isn’t always pleasant but their contributions to our nation’s history since before the American Revolution are undeniable. It is important to understand where you come from, the good and the bad, to learn from it and move forward. If we don’t we are forever doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. There is always room for things to get better and helping our children understand the past can help them to make the world a better place for all.
- It isn’t the only month designated to the history of a minority group. The importance of having time designated to the study of the history of any minority group is that traditionally they are overlooked in the history books, often times because of how they were mistreated or targeted which of course is why we should study it (see #4). Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15-October 15, Asian Heritage Month is May, Women’s History Month is March, and Native American History month is November.