Celebrating Black History Month

February 5, 2021

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Why do we celebrate Black History Month?

“Black History Month actually started as Negro History Week in 1917. Author, journalist, and historian Carter G. Woodson—now appropriately recognized as the “father of black history”—lobbied vigorously for the national recognition of black stories and perspectives. Woodson believed deeply that equality was only possible with the acknowledgement and understanding of a race’s history, and dedicated his life to the study of African-American historical research.

Woodson also hoped that the time would come when Black History Month would be unnecessary. Unfortunately, we have a long way to go.

As President Gerald Ford said in 1976 when he officially recognized Black History Month, we need to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.””


Each Friday of this month, University Village will post a series of tributes celebrating black lives. This week we pay tribute to amazing black women, some of whom it’s difficult to imagine our existence without. The true impact of the achievement of black women on all of our lives cannot be easily summarized. Here are some short videos, paying tribute to a few, which I hope you will enjoy:

28 Influential Black Women


Janelle Monae’s Message to Black Women


Dr. Raye Montague, Navy Architect


Amanda Gorman, Inaugural Poem


Maya Angelou, Love Liberates





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