Life Holidays & Observances Black History Month
This year, Black History Month returns to its roots with a new focus on black family ties.
The theme for 2021, "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity", explores the wide-ranging diversity of black family life -- from single to two-parent households to nuclear, extended and, more recently, bi-racial.
Throughout black history, factors such as slavery, inequality and poverty have put pressure on maintaining family ties, when a better life meant traveling far from home.
This may certainly be the reason why family reunions have always remained popuar within the African American community. And that means annual get-togethers with far-flung family that includes a joyful exchange of memories, photos and storytelling every year.
Paradoxically, economic pressures that may pull black families apart may also often unite them.
That is, against prejudice and bigotry many black famiies may pool resources or find job opportunities, or simply find emotional comfort within their own micro-community. In that respect, "brothers" or "aunties" may be good friends or neighbors who simply qualify for the title.
Throughout American history, the black community has always exhibited an unwavering understanding of the value of family as an incomparable source of comfort, strength, and even survival.
Resources for Black History Month 2021
PBS.org - The Slave Experience: FAMILY
Encyclopedia.com - African American Families
All about Black History Month
Black History Month first originated as part of an initiative by writer and educator Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who launched Negro History Week in 1926. Woodson proclaimed that Negro History Week should always occur in the second week of February — between the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.
Since 1976, every American president has proclaimed February as Black History Month. Today, other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom also devote an entire month to celebrating black history.
The Web is a great place to find out more about that history — in poetry, literature, the arts, sciences, sports and entertainment — making Black History Month a time of fun, celebration, and learning.
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