NPSD Celebrates Black History Month

Black History Month

The celebration of Black History Month began as “Negro History Week,” in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, an African American historian, scholar, educator and publisher. It became a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.  

A Few Fun Facts:

  1. According to Smithsonian Magazine, during the mid-1800s, one in four cowboys was Black. It is believed that the fictional character of The Lone Ranger was based on Bass Reeves. Reeves was born into slavery but he fled westward during the Civil War. Reeves eventually became a Deputy U.S. Marshal.

  1. On July 2, 1777, Vermont was the first colony to abolish slavery.

  1. In 1837, The Institute for Colored Youth, later known as Cheyney University, became the nation’s first Historically Black College and University (HBCU).

  1. Juneteenth, which is short for “June Nineteenth,” marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed. The troops arrived two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  

  1. Allensworth is the first all-Black Californian township, founded and financed by African Americans. Created by Lieutenant Colonel Allen Allensworth in 1908, the town was built with the intention of establishing a self-sufficient city where African Americans could live their lives free of racial prejudice.

  1. In 1952, a journalist named Charlotta Bass became the first American American woman to run for vice president. She was the VP nominee of the Progressive Party, with Vincent Hallinan as her running mate.

  1. Interracial marriage was legalized in all states in 1967 following the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States under Chief Justice Earl Warren in the case Loving v. Virginia. At the time of this ruling,  interracial marriages were illegal in 13 states.

  1. The potato chip was invented (by accident) in 1853 by African American chef, George Crum.


The History of Black History Month


The Great Migration

The Great Migration was the movement of approximately six million African Americans from rural areas of the Southern states of the United States to urban areas in the northern states between 1916 and 1970. It occurred in two waves, before and after the Great Depression.


Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was the period of time from roughly 1910s to the mid 1930s when the Harlem neighborhood in New York City emerged as the Black cultural mecca. The social and artistic explosion that resulted in literature, music, stage performance, and art transformed African American culture.






Local History