(Albany, NY) Originating in 1926 as “Negro History Week”, historian Carter G. Woodson chose February for this celebration because the second week of the month marks the birthdays of both President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass. The week of recognition and celebration became recognized and extended to the entire month of February.
Marking February as Black History Month, Senator Breslin said, “This is a time to remember and celebrate the history of African Americans in our society and the many accomplishments made by the African American community. We must also recommit ourselves to fight for social and economic justice.”
The history of racism in the United States – in our economy, legal and justice system, as well as everyday life – is one often difficult to talk about, but it helps define our nation and the ongoing struggle to realize the lofty goals of true freedom and equality for all.
“Black history is filled with countless individuals that have fundamentally re-shaped the course of American history,” said Senator Breslin. “We know the names of Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Maya Angelou and President Barack Obama—however, they are only a piece of that history. From those who endured the indignity of slavery, to the soldier defending our freedoms overseas, to the captains of industry moving our economy forward, to the single mother trying to make ends meet so her children lead a better life, Black History is filled with giants.”