Oh February, how we love you so. Winter is ending, birds are chirping and Black History Month is being celebrated. Although being Black is always something to be proud of and the culture should be praised year round, February is dubbed as the official Black History Month in the United States.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard Graduate from Virginia, is widely known as the “father of Black history.” Woodson, born December 19, 1875, couldn’t help but noticed the lack of proper representation (or representation at all) of Black culture in his US History studies. Determined for change and in an attempt to educate others on the impact of Black culture in our society, Woodson launched the Association for the Study of Negro Life in 1915. From this came the Journal of Black History (now known as the Journal of African American History), a publication that highlights the roles, importance, and history of Black people. His work brought in loads of support and encouragement, and in 1926 Woodson was able to organize the first-ever Negro History Week. This purposefully fell on the second week of February to celebrate both Frederick Douglass (former slave/national leader of the abolitionist movement) and President Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. Woodson devoted his entire life to ensuring the presence of African American history in the United States. Sadly he died of a heart attack in 1950 before seeing his celebration go from a week to the entire month of February in 1976. However, Woodson left behind a legacy that goes hand in hand with the works of other astounding African American leaders.
Week one of February has been exciting as the celebration of Black history is in full effect all across the Bay Area. Celebrations and dedications have been held by the city of Hayward, Oakland and many more. Chabot’s Scholars of the African Diaspora (CSAD), a group of programs and organizations in place to promote the academic success of students of the African descent, has hosted motivational workshops and panel discussions all throughout campus. And not to mention we screamed Happy Birthday to Mrs. Rosa Parks as she would have turned 105 on February 4. Parks, of course, made history when she refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man on December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama.Parks was arrested and tried for this event, but eventually made bailed and moved on to continue fighting against segregation and discrimination.
If you feel that you’ve missed out on the festivities, don’t worry! There is plenty more celebration to go around. Here at Chabot CSAD is hosting three more upcoming events including a “Get Out” film screening on the 15th, a Black Scholars Family Night on the 22nd, and an end of the month Carnival on the 27th. The Bay Area is jammed packed with events as well, most of which are free. For more information scan the code below for events around the Bay Area if you would like to join in on all the love. Also, tune into KTCH Channel 27, and catch an episode of Chabot News where Chabot’s Avier Brass will be doing weekly segments about culturally significant figures in Black history.