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Black History Month: The Journey Continues

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Since 1926 when Harvard scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson organized the first Negro History Week, the U.S., U.K. and Canada have celebrated Black History Month, paying tribute to those who’ve dramatically impacted our lives. Beginning in February in North America, the period coincides with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two pivotal figures in African American history.

Prior to Woodson’s work in spear-heading annual recognition, African Americans were sparsely recognized in texts. Instead, coverage largely revolved around social positions, overlooking the monumental impact of those individuals who shaped politics, music and literature. Today, the four-week period aims to expose centuries of racial discrimination and prejudice that have impacted, influenced and molded African Americans. It also aims to recognize the enormous contributions made by men and women of African descent.

During Black History Month, men and women, adults and children, join together to acknowledge and work toward rectifying the disparaging effects of slavery, poverty, segregation, social isolation, dehumanization and inequality. Generations of African Americans, 13.4 percent of the total U.S. population, have been shaped by Jim Crow laws and affirmative action, which President Lyndon Johnson so eloquently described in his 1965 Howard University speech: “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘you are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.”

But, through it all, our nation is founded on change, on heroes and policy changers from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Rosa Parks, from Langston Hughes to Maya Angelou, from Billie Holiday to Josephine Baker. Learn more about the events in your area by contacting your local colleges, universities or chamber of commerce.

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Clinton Douglas IV, writes about travel for Vasrue.com – Travel. Get amazing travel discounts, fresh articles and travel ideas in your inbox. Plus, we never share your personal information – ever! Sign-up for the Vasrue.com travel e-magazine, today!
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Materials may not be sold, modified, or altered without written permission from Vasrue.com. Articles may not be used within unsolicited emails or spam. This Article may be reproduced, distributed, published, transmitted and/or publicly displayed in whole or in part, as long as the article and resource box remain unchanged.