Beyond Black History Month
Black History Month began as Black History Week in the second week of February 1926. Founder Carter Woodson, a Harvard-educated historian, had hoped that by increasing knowledge and awareness of Black history, it would become so deeply embedded in American history that Black History Week (and later Month) would be unnecessary. The celebration’s initial objectives were to demonstrate the important roles Black Americans had played in the country’s creation and their right to be treated equally as citizens, and to increase the visibility of Black life and history at a time when Black people were often the subject of mockery in media and entertainment.
Fifty years later, in 1976, President Gerald Ford proclaimed February Black History Month, and in 1986 Congress officially recognized Black History Month. Today, nearly 100 years after Woodson’s idea first took shape, the struggle continues to establish Black history as essential to the American story.
While February is Black History Month, we at Prosper Portland are committed to learning, being inspired and supporting the local Black community not only this month but throughout the year. Follow our social media channels where we are honoring Black History Month by highlighting local leaders, moments in history, and Black-owned businesses in Portland.