25 Inspiring Facts About African American History

What started as the Negro History Week in 1926 is now a significant annual observance known as Black History Month (or African American History Month). Held each February, the celebration is consistent reminder of the important people and events in the history of African Americans and pays tribute to the numerous generations of black people who had to struggle with adversity. From the ingenuity of brilliant inventors and scientists to the brave defiance of injustice these are 25 inspiring facts about African American history.

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Carter G. Woodson, an African American historian, author and journalist, is considered the father of the observance. In 1926, he announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week". This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and of Frederick Douglass (February 14.)


Frederick Douglass, an important African American social reformer, orator, writer, and statesman, became a leader of the abolitionist movement after he escaped from slavery. Douglass also supported women´s suffrage and other disadvantaged minorities.



Although the initial acceptance of “Negro History Week” was slow, in the following years, the observance rapidly gained momentum, prompting the creation of black history clubs and organizations and raising awareness of the importance of African American history.


Woodson died in April 1950, which means he didn't even live to see the expansion of the Negro History Week to the Black History Month by President Gerald Ford in 1976.



Martin Luther King Jr., an African American civil rights activist famous for his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech, became only the third American whose birthday is commemorated as a federal holiday. He is also the youngest male to have won a Nobel Peace Prize. He received the Prize in October 1964 for combating racial inequality through nonviolence.

25 Inspiring Facts About African American History

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