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Expanding Black History Month

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By Stephanie Ward, Health Home Care Manager

We celebrated Black History Month in February, a month-long observance to celebrate Black and African American achievements. This annual celebration has been recognized since 1976, when it was officially proclaimed by President Gerald Ford. However, the celebration’s origins date back to 1926, when the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, founded by Carter G. Woodson and Jesse Moorland, established Negro History Week.

The reason Black History Month is celebrated in February is to coincide with the birthdays of Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, who both played crucial roles in ending slavery in the United States. However, we should strive for full and inclusive history education throughout the year. More importantly, we need to understand the ongoing contributions, struggles and achievements of Black Americans on a daily basis. Even though February is over, there is always time to celebrate Black history.

What are some ways you can celebrate Black history throughout the year? Every action counts. Capitalize the word Black when referring to Black Americans. Advocate for more diversity in business partnerships. Support systemic change in the world, not single, one-off fixes for deeper issues.

Curiosity is one of the things that makes us all alike, no matter the color of our skin. Use that curiosity and help make this a more equitable, accessible and inclusive world, one mind at a time.