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Thursday, February 5, 2015

Black History Month

Bio - Black One - 1997 | $400

A lot of us have been working very hard for years. Fighting tiny battles to clear the way. It’s so incredibly exhausting and so incredibly necessary.

"If there is no struggle there is no progress."
Frederick Douglass

Black History month, Canadians often remark is the shortest, coldest month of the year. In England, it falls in October, the beginning of the school year. I thought for years February was chosen in North America because of Marin Luther King’s birthday, but he was born on January 15, 1929. You re-learn something new every day.

Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) chose the second week of February to celebrate Negro History Week because that week included the birthdays of two important men: President Abraham Lincoln(February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14). When Negro History Week turned into Black History Month in 1976, the celebrations during the second week of February expanded to the entire month of February.

Origins of Black History Month
The origins of Black History Month can be traced back to a man named Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950). Woodson, the son of former slaves, was an amazing man in his own right. Since his family was too poor to send him to school as a child, he taught himself the basics of a school education. At age 20, Woodson was finally able to attend high school, which he completed in just two years.

He then went on to earn a bachelor's and master's degree from the University of Chicago. In 1912, Woodson became only the second African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University (W.E.B. Du Bois was the first). Woodson used his hard-earned education to teach. He taught both in public schools and at Howard University.

Three years after earning his doctorate, Woodson made a trip that had a great impact on him. In 1915, he traveled to Chicago to participate in a three-week celebration of the 50th anniversary of the end of slavery. The excitement and enthusiasm generated by the events inspired Woodson to continue the study of black history year-round. Before leaving Chicago, Woodson and four others created the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) on September 9, 1915. The following year, the ASNLH began publication of the Journal of Negro History.

Woodson realized that most textbooks at the time ignored the history and achievements of blacks. Thus, in addition to the journal, he wanted to find a way to encourage interest and study of black history. In 1926, Woodson promoted the idea of a "Negro History Week," which was to be held during the second week of February. The idea caught on quickly and Negro History Week was soon celebrated around the United States. With a high demand for study materials, the ASNLH began to produce pictures, posters, and lesson plans to help teachers bring Negro History Week into schools. In 1937, the ASNLH also began producing the Negro History Bulletin, which focused on an annual theme for Negro History Week.

In 1976, the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Negro History Week and the bicentennial of the United States' independence, lack History Week was expanded to Black History Month. Ever since then, Black History Month has been celebrated in February around the country.

Some Toronto Black History Month Events 

Click the links below to find something for you!
Black history month
scroll down to 2015 events

Blogto Black History Month:

Basquiat at the AGO Blogto:

I will be speaking at: 

Community Creative Jam 
in partnership with North York Arts and Whole Foods Market

4771 Yonge Street at Sheppard
Whole Foods Market
Wednesday February 18, 2015

This is not a black history month event but it is my appearance this month, so I hope you can make it!

My talk will be about the life of an artist. Well, more, the life of this artist. I can only speak for myself. We are all so different. 

There will be light refreshments, music and work on exhibit.

 "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Enjoy Black History Month!