February is Black History Month, also called African American History Month. Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as “Negro History Week” and later as “Black History Month.”
Much of the credit for establishing Black History Month goes to Dr. Carter G. Woodson. As a scholar, he was disturbed to discover that history books either ignored the black American population or relegated them to inferior roles in American history. Dr. Woodson devoted his life to bringing black history into the mainstream.
In 1915, Dr. Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History). The next year, he launched the Journal of Negro History (now called the Journal of African-American History). Finally, in 1926 he initiated Negro History Week during the second week of February. This week was chosen because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly impacted the lives of black Americans — Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.