For 43 years, the U.S. has observed Black History Month in February as a month-long celebration honoring the contributions made by African-Americans in our country. How well do you know this annual event? Here are some facts even history buffs may have missed.
The man with the plan
Historian Carter G. Woodson, the creator of what we presently know as Black History Month, worked passionately to establish the event in an effort to provide an education on the origins, struggles, and achievements of African-Americans in United States history. Originally, it existed as seven days of commemoration, first established in 1926 and called “Negro History Week.” Woodson penned more than a dozen books, including 1933’s Mis-Education of the Negro. Learn the truth about some historical figures you’ve been picturing all wrong.
This year marks an anniversary
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On February 12, 2019, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will celebrate its 110th birthday. The date of February 12, 1909, was chosen for the NAACP’s inception because it also marked the 100th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln. It’s America’s oldest civil rights organization, as well as its largest.
Black men had a strong presence in the Wild West
You’d be hard-pressed to find much diversity in old-time Western films; however, according to Smithsonian Magazine, one in four cowboys was black. In fact, it’s believed that the fictional character of The Lone Ranger was based on was Bass Reeves. Reeves was born into slavery but he fled westward during the Civil War. In time, Reeves became a Deputy U.S. Marshal. Find out some more legendary figures you never knew were inspired by real historical people.