Black History 2016

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 2016 is "Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories."

Over the past century, African American life, history, and culture have become major forces in the United States and the world. In 1915, few could have imagined that African Americans in music, art, and literature would become appreciated by the global community. Fewer still could have predicted the prominence achieved by African Americans, as well as other people of African descent, in shaping world politics, war, and diplomacy. Indeed, it was nearly universally believed that Africans and people of African descent had played no role in the unfolding of history and were a threat to American civilization itself. A century later, few can deny the centrality of African Americans in the making of American history.

This transformation is the result of effort, not chance. Confident that their struggles mattered in human history, black scholars, artists, athletes, and leaders self-consciously used their talents to change how the world viewed African Americans. The New Negro of the post-World War I era made modernity their own and gave the world a cornucopia of cultural gifts, including jazz, poetry based on the black vernacular, and an appreciation of African art. African American athletes dominated individual and team sports, changing baseball, track-and-field, football, boxing, tennis, and basketball. In a wave of social movements, African American activism transformed race relations, challenged American foreign policy, and became the American conscience on human rights.

During the long fight against slavery, the A.M.E. Zion Church would emerge as a stalwart defender of the human rights and dignity of the black man and woman. It was the voice of freedom where the powerful speeches by Frederick Douglas and the passionate winds of the abolitionist movement would resonate from its pulpit. It was the Freedom Church. In addition to the membership of Harriet Tubman, the church was the worship home for Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth as well.

Black History Month began in 1926 as part of an initiative by writer and educator Dr. Carter G. Woodson who launched Negro 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 an entire month to celebrating black history.

While the spotlight often shines on individuals, this movement is the product of organization, of institutions and of institution-builders who gave direction to effort. The National Urban League promoted the Harlem Renaissance. The preservation of the black past became the mission of Arturo Schomburg and Jesse Moorland, leading to the rise of the Schomburg Research Center in Black Culture and Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. The vision of Margaret Boroughs and others led to the African American museum movement, leading to the creation of black museums throughout the nation, culminating with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Student activism of the 1960s resulted in the Black Studies Movement and the creation of black professional associations, including the National Council of Black Studies, and a host of doctoral programs at major American universities.

At the dawn of these strivings and at all points along the road, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) has played a vital role. When he founded the Association in 1915, Carter G. Woodson labored under the belief that historical truth would crush falsehoods and usher in a new era of equality, opportunity, and racial democracy, and it has been its charge for a century. The Association for the Study of African American Life & History has selected this theme "Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories" to bring attention to the centennial celebration of the National Park Service and the more than twenty-five sites and the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom that are part of America’s hallowed grounds, including the home of the father of black history, Dr. Carter G. Woodson.

 

Visit www. http://asalh.net for additional resources and information.

 

  • February 12-16, 2018
    Board of Bishops' and International Ministers & Lay Association Meeting
    Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel
    235 East Main Street
    Norfolk, VA
    Register by February 5, 2018!
  • February 14, 2018
    Ash Wednesday
    Ash Wednesday is always celebrated on a Wednesday seven weeks prior to Easter Sunday. For Christians, the day marks the first day of Lent and the starting of 6 weeks of fasting and penance.
  • February 14-March 29, 2018
    Lent
    Lent begins on Ash Wednesday each year and for Christians starts the 40 day period of fasting. The day represents the 40 days Jesus spend fasting in the wilderness.
  • February 14, 2018
    Valentine's Day
    We love because he first loved us 1 John 4:19
  • March 11, 2018
    Daylight Savings Time
    Spring forward - Turn your clocks forward an hour at 2 a.m. local standard time (At 2 a.m. on March 11th, the clocks after they are moved forward an hour, will read 3 a.m. local daylight time).

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