Black History Month owes its origin to Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), one of the founders of modern Black studies.
Woodson, whose parents had been slaves, enrolled in high school at age 20. He went on to earn a doctoral degree from Harvard. Disturbed by the way history books ignored or denigrated his race, in 1915 he established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History).
In 1926, he started Negro History Week. He chose the second week in February, because it included the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
In 1976, the observance was converted to Black History Month.
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