DR. Kim's Corner: Black History Month

DR. Kim's Corner: Black History Month
Posted on 02/01/2022

If it's February it must be…..Black History Month!

Many people joke about Black History Month (BHM) being in the shortest and coldest month of the year. In fact, the story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent. It was this group that stated Black History Week.

BHM began as Black History week in 1926. The second week of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs, and host performances and lectures.

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." Today, Black History Month is a time to honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans across U.S. history and society-from activists and civil rights pioneers, to leaders in industry, politics, science, culture and more. We continue that tradition as a country today.

It is important now more than ever to recognize the impact and contribution that African Americans have had in the forming of our nation. As a part of American history, more important, because African American history is under attack, even in danger of not being told at all, if some would have their way.

America is one of the greatest nations in the world. Like most great nations, however, it has unpleasant parts. It doesn't make us any less great. But those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it. We must look at our country, warts and all, to make it better and make the dreams Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of a reality.

This year's Black History Month theme is "Black Health and Wellness." This theme explores "the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine, but also other ways of knowing (e.g., birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, herbalists, etc.) throughout the African Diaspora. The 2022 theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well. Use this link I have provided to explore this theme and more. Amandla!

In power,

Dr. Kim