Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the immeasurable impact they have had on the history of the United States. Dr. Carter G. Woodson is credited for establishing Black History Month as a nationwide institution.
The theme Black Migrations emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities in the United States. This massive demographic shift remade our nation in ways that are still being felt today— culturally, politically, and socially. Between 1915 and 1970, more than 6 million African Americans moved out of the South to cities across the Northeast, Midwest and West. From a geographical context, the relocation—called the Great Migration—is divided into two periods: 1910-1940 and 1940-1970, with a pause in migration during the Great Depression in the 1930s.
During the Migration many people found doors opening into areas that had been previously denied resulting in an explosion of opportunities in the arts, sports, science, technology, and politics. They created a Black urban culture that would have an enormous influence in the decades to come.
Fannie Lou Hamer said, “Never to forget where we came from and always praise the bridges that carried us over.” As in the past, Black Americans today continue to write our nation’s story with their commitment to the arts, sports, science, technology, politics and defending the United States.