Black History Month was born in the halls of Ohio’s Kent State University in 1926. It was first established in the second week of February as Negro History Week by Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D., founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.
In 1969, Kent State’s Black United Students organization advocated for the entire month of February to be known as Black History Month. In 1970, they achieved their goal, and the first celebration of Black History Month took place across the university’s campus.
Six years after its inception at Kent State, Black History Month received national designation by President Gerald Ford who said, “we can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
It is important in the second week of February, that we remember Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D., and the contributions that he made to Ohio education and the establishment of Black History Month in the United States. It is important that we remember this history as legislators in Ohio and across the country eliminate diversity training requirements in state colleges and universities. It is important to remember this and for us to advocate for honest education grounded in historical truth, facts, and diverse perspectives.
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