This blog article is written and edited by the free (Anti-Trump) Italian citizen Cristina Capucci.
In 1976 Gerald Ford was the first President of United States of America to recognize Black History Month, calling upon Americans to “…seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”
Black History Month is celebrated annually in February to honor, highlight and celebrate African American Leaders and their meaningful accomplishments.
Ever since 1976, each President (as initially suggested by President Gerald Ford) sets a theme for Black History Month where the mission is to raise awareness of and provide the general public with a deeper understanding of African Americans’ contributions to American history, Americans culture and society.
National African American History Month (or Black History Month) had its origins in 1915 when historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) was founded in Chicago, Illinois on Sept. 9, 1915 by Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.
This organization is now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (“ASALH”). Through this organization Dr. Woodson initiated the first Negro History Week in February 1926. Dr. Woodson selected the week in February that included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two key figures in the history of African Americans.
In 1975, President Ford issued a first message on the observance of Black History Week inviting and urging all Americans to “recognize the important contribution made to our nation’s life and culture by black citizens.”
In 1976 this commemoration of black history in the United States was expanded by ASALH to Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, and President Ford issued the first Message on the Observance of Black History Month that year. In subsequent years, Presidents Carter and Reagan continued to issue Messages honoring African American History Month.
Lincoln believed that slavery was immoral and was incompatible with the principles the Declaration of Independence embodied in the phrase “all men are created equal” (many slaves had been declared free by President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, and subsequently the complete abolishment of slavery after the approval of the 13th Amendment Constitution of the United States by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and by the House on January 31, 1865).
In the same way thought and acted, in accordance with his words, President Gerald Ford and after him, with the same consistency in the observance of Black History Month, also President Ronald Reagan in 1986.
This is Message on the Observance of Black History Month by President Gerald Ford (38th President of the United States: 74 ‐ 77)
Except form the Website of Congress Library of the United States of America www.loc.gov/law/help/commemorative-observations/african-american.php
February 10, 1976
In the Bicentennial year of our Independence, we can review with admiration the impressive contributions of black Americans to our national life and culture.
One hundred years ago, to help highlight these achievements, Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. We are grateful to him today for his initiative, and we are richer for the work of his organization.
Freedom and the recognition of individual rights are what our Revolution was all about. They were ideals that inspired our fight for Independence: ideals that we have been striving to live up to ever since. Yet it took many years before these ideals became a reality for black citizens.
The last quarter-century has finally witnessed significant strides in the full integration of black people into every area of national life. In celebrating Black History Month, we can take satisfaction from this recent progress in the realization of the ideals envisioned by our Founding Fathers. But, even more than this, we can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.
I urge my fellow citizens to join me in tribute to Black History Month and to the message of courage and perseverance it brings to all of us.
Gerald R. Ford