Black History Month Begins

The beginning of 2023’s celebration of Black History starts February 1st and ends March 1st. 


According to National Geographic, the purpose of black history month is to bring attention to the various contributions African Americans have made towards today’s society. “It honors all  Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today.” 


The origins of Black History Month began with Carter G. Woodson who established Black History Month as a nationwide institution. Carter G. Woodson chose February for the celebration in honor of the birth month of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.


The first Black History Month was celebrated in February of 1969. It became officially recognized in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. 


Ilianna Davis, Arrowhead senior, says she celebrates black history month by spending time with her family. “Me and my family are both black so we celebrate together.”


There are various ways to celebrate Black History Month in Wisconsin according to Spectrum 1 News. Many cities including Milwaukee, Eau-Claire, Green Bay, and Madison host a plethora of festivities. 


Arrowhead’s Multicultural Student Union has also joined the celebration by creating informational slide shows that are displayed in study halls. 


Katie Hermann, an AHS English teacher said,“There are so many great books that tell the stories of Black Americans, and it’s sad that many of these voices and perspectives have been overlooked for so long. A few that I’d recommend for young adult readers include Dear Martin, by Nic Stone, Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson, The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, and March, by John Lewis. These stories help readers understand both the triumphs and struggles of Black Americans, allowing us to broaden our perspectives and empathize with others’ experiences as we work together to celebrate our country’s diversity.”


To be educated on the history of African American History in Wisconsin Milwaukee has the Wisconsin Black Historical Society/Museum and America’s Black Holocaust Museum. 


Milwaukee Film is hosting its fifth annual celebration of Black History through the black lens program. More information about how to attend the event can be found here