Team Shaw celebrates Black History Month

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Black History Month, also known as National African-American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing their vital role in U.S. history.

To appreciate why Black History Month is celebrated, we first have to understand its history.

The story of Black History Month began in 1915 when Carter Woodson and Jesse Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements of black Americans and people of African descent; known today as the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History.

This group sponsored National Negro History Week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. At the time, these were two unrecognized dates that were celebrated predominately by black people.

By the late 1960s, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Since that year, every American president has designated February as Black History Month.

The theme for this year’s Black History Month is “The crisis in black education,” and will focus on the crucial role of education in the history of African-Americans.

The Shaw Air Force Base Black History Month Board is scheduled to host a series of events throughout the month. For more information on the month’s events, contact Maj. Rachel Parrish or Staff Sgt. Latoria Dinkins at 803-895-6988.

Feb. 1: Black History Month kick off, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Shaw Base Exchange
Feb. 9: Movie night, 6 p.m., at the McElveen Information and Learning Center
Feb. 13-17: Book readings at the Child Development Center and High Hills Elementary school
Feb. 21: “Spoken Word” night, 5:30 p.m., at the McElveen Information and Learning Center
Feb. 24: Unity Ball, 7-11 p.m., Carolina Skies Club and Conference Center