Black History Month
Each year beginning on February 1, an entire month of events are planned nationwide honoring the history and contributions of African Americans.
The theme for Black History Month in 2013 is "At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington."
The theme highlights two important anniversaries in the history of African Americans and the United States:
150 years ago, on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation set the United States on the path of ending slavery.
A century later, on August 27, 1963, hundreds of thousands of Americans, blacks and whites, joined the March on Washington to the memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, in pursuit of the ideal of equality of citizenship.
It was also on this occasion that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous speech, "I Have a Dream".
In 2013, Black History Month celebrates the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his memorable "I Have a Dream" speech.
All about Black History Month
Black History Month began in 1926 as part of an initiative by writer and educator Dr. Carter G. Woodson who launchedNegro History Week in 1926. Woodson proclaimed that Negro History Week should always occur in the second week of February —between the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
Since 1976, every American president has proclaimed February as Black History Month. Today, other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom also devote a month to celebrating black history.
The Web is a great place to find out more about that history — in poetry, literature, the arts, sciences, sports and entertainment — making Black History Month a time of fun, celebration, and learning: