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    African American History Month 2013

    Every February, The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum come together to honor and pay tribute to African Americans throughout history who struggled to gain citizenship in American society.

    Back in 1926, Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week as a way to help reason triumph over prejudice in a heavily-segregated America.

    Negro History Week was an immediate success. Not only did the event expose the infamous struggles of African Americans, it spotlighted their many accomplishments to our history and culture.

    By 1950, the week had become a central part of African American life. During the Black Awakening and Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, its importance grew in both size and scope.

    In 1976, the celebration was extended into a month-long event and renamed Black History Month. President Gerald R. Ford called on America to honor the accomplishments of African Americans throughout history. Later the title was updated to African American History Month.

    This year’s annual theme is “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality,” commemorating both the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington (the setting for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech). Separated by a century of inequity and strife, these seminal events represent two of the most important changes in American society.

     

    For more information about African American History Month, including events happening in your local area, visit the Events Highlights section at http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/ or visit the Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s news and events section at www.asalh.org.  You can also visit the Center for Public Service’s News and Events section for events related to African American History Month. 

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