From the beginning, primary emphasis was placed on encouraging the coordinated teaching of the history of African Americans in the nation’s public schools. Black History Month was first proposed by African American educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later, from February 1, 1970, to February 28, 1970. Six years later Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions and community centers, both great and small, when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month, during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. He urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”.
This month the United States recognizes those accomplishments through the celebration of Black History Month.