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Black History Month: Then and Now

By | 2018-01-16T11:55:54-05:00 February 1st, 2007|Uncategorized|

By Kimya Afi Ayodele

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who was the son of former enslaved Africans, originated Negro History Week in 1926.
He was also one of only a few African-Americans during that time to earn a PhD. It is widely believed that he chose the second week of February to honor the birthdays of former President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Fredrick Douglass because he believed that they improved the lives of African-Americans.
In 1976, when the United States celebrated its bicentennial, the week became a month and was later renamed Black History Month. It has been celebrated in primarily schools, but also businesses and organizations, all over the world. The purpose was, and is still, to educate African-Americans and non-African-Americans alike, about the multitude of contributions by black Americans on society and the world. This time is also for appreciating, honoring and celebrating these individuals and their accomplishments.
However, often excluded from these educational and celebratory events are the many contributions of many same gender loving and transgender African-Americans. Many of these unsung heroines and heroes, who live and love right now and right here in the southeastern Michigan area, are also making herstory/history.
As a matter of fact, we are all herstory/history makers! All that we do and say on behalf of what we believe in, though it may not ever appear within the pages of a book to be read by school children and scholars or be publicly acknowledged or celebrated, is a part of this greater herstory/history universal experience.
Over the next three editions, I hope to introduce you to three of these SGL and transgender African-American herstory/history makers and hope that you will join me in publicly appreciating, honoring and celebrating their accomplishments.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.