The Man behind the Holiday
Carter G. Woodson, considered a pioneer in the study of African-American history, is given much of the credit for Black History Month.
The son of former slaves, Woodson spent his childhood working in coal mines and quarries. He received his education during the four-month term that was customary for black schools at the time. At 19, having taught himself English fundamentals and

arithmetic, Woodson entered high school, where he completed a four-year curriculum in two years. He went on to earn his master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago and later earned a doctorate from Harvard.

How the Holiday Came About

Disturbed that history textbooks largely ignored America’s black population, Woodson took on the challenge of writing black Americans into the nation’s history. To do this, he established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. He also founded the group’s widely respected publication, the Journal of Negro History.
In 1926, Woodson developed Negro History Week. He believed “the achievements of the Negro properly set forth will crown him as a factor in early human progress and a maker of modern civilization.” In 1976, Negro History Week expanded into Black History Month.

Why He Picked February
Woodson chose the second week of February for his celebration because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population: Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery and became an abolitionist and civil rights leader; though his birthdate isn’t known, he celebrated it on February 14. President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which abolished slavery in America’s confederate states; he was born on February 12.
For his work, Woodson has been called the Father of Black History.
Reported by CNN Staff (Updated 9:01 AM ET, Mon February 1, 2021)


Timeline Week Three
Watch this space each Friday in February for a continuing timeline. Then look for the Facebook posts highlighting events on this timeline.

Black History Month: The Black Church 
Episode 1: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of African American religion beginning with the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the extraordinary ways enslaved Africans preserved and adapted their faith practices from the brutality of slavery to emancipation.

Episode 2: Discover how the Black church expanded its reach to address social inequality and minister to those in need, from the Jim Crow South to the heroic phase of the civil rights movement and the Black church’s role in the present.


Black History Month: Film Discussion

Mr. SOUL! By Project Humanities, Wed, February 24, 2021
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM EST, Free Event
A panel discussion of the documentary, Mr. SOUL! Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Ellis Haizlip—Mr. SOUL! On the heels of the civil rights movement, the public television variety show SOUL!, offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics—voices that had few other options for national television exposure. Guided by the enigmatic producer and host Ellis Haizlip, the series was among the first to provide expanded images of Black Americans on television and recognize the vibrancy of the Black Arts Movement. The film celebrates the groundbreaking PBS series against the backdrop of a swiftly changing political and social landscape while profiling Haizlip, the charismatic man behind one of the most culturally significant and successful TV shows in U.S. history. With participants’ recollections and archival clips, Mr. SOUL! captures a critical moment in culture whose impact continues to resonate.

This will be a panel discussion. Please watch the film ahead of time, it will be broadcast on PBS the evening of February 22nd and will be available to stream for free on on February 23.

Register here for this free event:


Black History Month: Dinner Series – Vegetarian Jambalaya & Cornbread, Sunday, February 28, 2021, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM EST, Free Event

Celebrate Black History Month with Addie from Seward Community Co-op, who will teach attendees how to make vegetarian jambalaya and cornbread.

Register here for this free event: