The Origin Of Black History Month

Black History Month’s history

Dr Carter G. Woodson was born in the United States in 1875, died in 1950 and he instigated “Negro History Week” in February 1926. February was chosen because it was, for great slavery abolitionists, Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, their birth month.

This historian revealed through his career and his work, another version of history. He created a scientific analytical flow of black people in universal history. He fought society’s racism and prejudgments.

His biggest dream was to integrate African history in schools study program. He would not be content that African history was taught, but that it was so in a respectful and sensitive manner as to promote diversity.

“Negro History Week” became “Black History Month” in 1976 during the America’s bi-centennial festivities. It was made so to faithfully and objectively commemorate Black people’s history. It is celebrated in all metropolitan regions of North America, Africa, France, the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

Black History Month in Quebec

November 23rd 2006, the National Assembly adopted a law project to make February Black History Month to underline the black communities’ contribution to Quebec society. This law was made official February 1st 2007.

When they adopted this law making February Black History Month, the Quebec Government wants to, not only add its voice to the North American movement underlining black citizens many contributions, but also want to officially recognize the importance of this annual event for all of Quebec society.

This law becomes, for the Quebec Government, the opportunity to materialize one of the recommendations in the Groupe de travail report responsible of conducting, in fall 2005, an advisory on black communities’ participation to Quebec society. During this advisory, many citizens of black communities underlined the importance of acknowledging the Black people’s contribution in our collective memory and to better their image within society.

For more than three hundred years, successive generations of black Quebecers enrich Quebec with their savoir-faire, talents and their visions in all sectors of activity. This law helps all of Quebec society to officially express its will to shed light on the essential contribution of people of Black communities for Quebec’s development.

Remember that Black History Month has been celebrated, annually in Quebec and many other regions of the world, by several public, community and private institutions. In Quebec, for the last 19 years, Black History Months’ Round Table has been organizing activities enabling Quebecer people to discover the richness and diversity of black communities and honour those who shined in different domains.

Source : Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles