2010 marks the 34th year officially celebrating Black History Month. For generations, people have been celebrating and learning about the contributions of African Americans to American society since 1976 when Carter G. Woodson, the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, initiated the celebration of Black History Month as an extension to Negro History Week which he had established in 1926 as a means of documenting and researching the contributions of Africans to civilization. Woodson had seen first hand the lack of knowledge presented about African Americans while attending Harvard University, one of the top universities in the United States, and went about the task of rectifying the situation.
In effect, Black History Month became more than just a holiday; it became a way of rebuilding the psyche of American culture by reminding its citizens of teh great contributions that Africans and African Americans have made to the advancement of all aspects of society. Throughout the United States communities annually commemorate Black History Month with special events, concerts, lectures, plays, exhibits and various other forums to educate, inform and remind its citizens of African American achievements and discoveries.
In Houston, events like the Buffalo Soldiers display at local libraries and the Children's Express Theatre's presentation of the play, "The Freedom Train" at the African American Library at the Gregory School are just two examples of keeping our communities informed and thus more tolerant and better educated.
In light of that, a little known fact about the Islamic religion is that Islam was also rising to prominence among blacks iin the U.S. around the time that Negro History Week was being implemented by Carter G. Woodson.