Initiated by Carter G. Woodsen in 1921 as only a week, this period to celebrate Black History was placed in February because it marked the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. It was later expanded to a full month in 1970 after urging by Kent State students. In 1976, Black History Month was officially recognized by the U.S. Government as part of the Bicentennial celebration. It's since become universal in the United States, Canada, and Germany, and in the United Kingdom in October.
There are far too many pioneers of civll rights and African American culture to document them all, but here are a few I'd like to spotlight:
Ruby Nell Bridges Hall
(September 8, 1954-present)
W.E.B. Du Bois
(February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963)
Hiriam R. Revels
(September 27, 1827 - January 16, 1901)
(June 10, 1895-October 26, 1952)
(January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972)
(August 29, 1910 – November 26, 1985)
Booker T. Washington
(April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915)
(July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993)
(February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005)
(July 10, 1943 – February 6, 1993)
There are so many more men and women that deserve recognition and praise during Black History Month, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Little Rock 9, the Greensboro Four, the Tuskegee Airmen, Jack Johnson, Buck Williams, Daisy Bates, Diane Nash, Arthur Ashe, Julian Bond, James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, Medgar Evans, Amiri Baraka, Jesse Jackson, Jesse Owens, Barack Obama, and others.
To find out more about these heroes and pioneers or more information about African American History, got to AfricanAmericanHistory.gov.