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Celebrating the Achievements of Black Americans
February is Black History Month. It’s a month that recognizes the countless men and women who helped change the American cultural, social, and scientific landscape. Black history is American history. The two are inexorably linked. This month, we take a look at the history behind Black History Month and its centurylong history. Black History Month itself can be traced back to 1915 in Chicago. It was the 50th anniversary of emancipation by the state of Illinois. For reference, the Emancipation Proclamation was delivered by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863. Illinois put its own emancipation into effect in 1865. In 1915, many thousands of African Americans made the journey to Chicago to attend an exhibition that chronicled the many achievements that African Americans had made since slavery had been crushed only 50 years before. It was a three-week celebration. One of the attendees, Carter G. Woodson, was in awe of everyone in attendance, not to mention all the achievements that were being shared at the event. Following the exhibition in Chicago, Woodson helped found the now-called Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Woodson’s goal was to bring the achievements of African-Americans to a wider stage. This led to the creation of The Journal of African American History in 1916. Woodson and his colleagues used this journal to publish those achievements along with insights from other African-Americans from around the country. Woodson challenged others to follow in his footsteps. And they did. In 1924, “Negro History Week” was founded. This eventually became known as “Negro Achievement Week.” It was part of greater outreach in many communities around the country to bring awareness of black achievement.
Woodson and others wanted more, however. Through the 1920s and ‘30s, black culture grew in the U.S. At the same time, more black history was being taught in schools, even as many blacks and black communities faced oppression, especially in the Southern states. As the Civil Rights Movement took hold in the ‘50s and ‘60s, more people made even greater strides. More people were learning about black history, and more African-Americans where they had come from and looking to their African ancestors for inspiration. During this time, more people were also celebrating Black History Month — which was quickly replacing the idea of “Negro History Week.” It wasn’t until 1976 that Black History Month was finally recognized nationally. It was 50 years after Carter G. Woodson made strides to change the American cultural landscape. Today, he and countless others are credited with having a major positive impact on American culture. It’s richer for their efforts. As we round out the month, we do want to mention Valentine’s Day, too. That is to say, we want to share our love with our clients! Our clients are our No. 1 priority, and we’re here every step of the way. We’re here to not only handle your car accident cases and other injury cases, but we’re also here to make sure you get back pay on wages you may have lost following an accident or to make sure your medical bills get covered. Every case is different and every client has different needs. It’s always been our goal to make sure every aspect of a victim’s life is taken care of so they have less to worry about. When you have less to worry about, you can focus more on recovery and getting back on your feet. We appreciate the trust you put in us to handle your case. You mean the world to us, and we only want you to have the best!
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