Black History Month gives everyone the opportunity to share, celebrate and understand the impact of black heritage and culture from the past and the present day!
Known as the "Father of Black History", Carter G Woodson was born in Virginia in 1875 and was the son of former slaves. Growing up, access to a good education and job opportunities were limited, but he ended up studying at one of the few high schools for black students after saving money from working as a coal miner.
Over the years he gained an impressive number of qualifications, including a PhD in history from Harvard University. In 1926 he sent out a press release to mark the first Black History Week in America. Throughout his life, Carter G Woodson worked tirelessly to promote black history in schools, leaving an indelible legacy.
The event was expanded in 1970, and since 1976 every American president has officially designated February as Black History Month in America. February was chosen in America because it coincides with the births of former President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass - who escaped slavery and became a key social activist. Both men played a significant role in helping to end slavery.
In the UK we celebrate Black History Month in October. Traditionally, October is when African chiefs and leaders gather to settle their differences, so Akyaaba (the person who founded Black History Month in the UK) chose this month to reconnect with African roots.