To commemorate and celebrate the contributions made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week in 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln, who championed the 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which ended slavery.
In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into a month-long commemoration. Every year since, the U.S. president has proclaimed February as National African-American History Month.
Visit the PBS African American World site to learn about more African American history milestones.
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