Black History Month
Though there are many examples of Black History Week celebrating beginning at the turn of the 20th century in the United States, its official start date is pegged to 1926 when “Negro History Week” began. A week that coincided with Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’s birthdays was selected. By the 1960s to the south, the United States started recognizing the month of February as Black History month, and by 1976 it was officially recognized there.
In Canada, though there were many celebrations during Black History Month, the House of Commons didn’t officially recognize February as Black History Month until 1995, when Jean Augustine introduced a motion. Augustine was the first Black Canadian woman elected to Parliament.
Black History Month is a time to celebrate, reflect and recognize the many achievements of Black Canadians, who, throughout history, have done so much to shape our communities, including right here in Chatham-Kent.
(Credit: The Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society)