Black History Month

February 1- March 1

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Carter G. Woodson


Black History Month wouldn’t have been possible without Negro History Week’s creation in the United States in 1926. Famous historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History proclaimed the second week of February to be observed as Negro History Week. Since the inception of this event, the main focus was to encourage the teaching of the history of Black Americans in educational institutes, particularly at the primary level. The departments of education of Delaware, North Carolina, and West Virginia were very cooperative. The overall reception was lukewarm, but Woodson considered it a success and “one of the most fortunate steps ever taken by the Association.”

In February 1969, the idea for Black History Month was promoted by Black students and educators at Kent State University, followed by the first celebration of Black History Month on campus and local surroundings one year later. Fast forward six years and Black History Month was widely being celebrated across the country, and not only in schools, colleges, and community centers. In 1976, President Gerald Ford praised Black History Month, urging all citizens to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

The creation of Black History Month also led to some controversy. Celebrating Black history for one month seemed too confining, with many labeling it downright inappropriate. Another concern was that Black History Month would glamorize the delicate subject and lead to Black historical figures being simplified as heroes.

Lift Every Voice and Sing Black National Anthem


President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation issued on January 1, 1863, had officially outlawed slavery in Texas and in all of the other Southern secessionist states of the original Confederacy except for parts of states not in rebellion. Enforcement of the Proclamation generally relied upon the advance of Union troops. Texas, as the most remote state of the former Confederacy, had seen an expansion of slavery and had a low presence of Union troops as the American Civil War ended; thus, enforcement there had been slow and inconsistent prior to Granger's announcement. Although the Emancipation Proclamation declared an end to slavery in the Confederate States, it did not end slavery in states that remained in the Union. For a short while after the fall of the Confederacy, slavery remained legal in two of the Union border states – Delaware and Kentucky. Those slaves were freed with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution which constitutionally abolished chattel slavery nationwide on December 6, 1865. The last slaves present in the continental United States were freed when the slaves held in the Indian Territories that had sided with the Confederacy were released, namely the Choctaw, in 1866

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Colorado Black History

Five Points Historic Cultural District, Denver - Although Denver had no Jim Crow laws in place, black residents had trouble finding housing and were forced to attend segregated schools. The Five Points neighborhood was the nexus of the black community, supporting the development of entrepreneurs like Madam C.J. Walker. Churches like Zion Baptist served as centers of political life. In the 1930s, the Rossonian Lounge and Hotel became one of the nation’s best jazz clubs, hosting Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, and Dinah Washington; it was recently awarded a State Historical Fund grant to preserve its legacy. Today’s Black American West Museum was once the home of Dr. Justina Ford, who despite being denied a medical license delivered about 7,000 babies during her esteemed career.

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Bishop Acen Phillips


Mayor Wellington Webb

The Webb family relocated from Chicago to the Northeast section of Denver in August 1954, where the imposing six-foot, five-inch youth became active in sports. He is a graduate of the city's Manual High School. Webb was an all-conference basketball player at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colorado, in 1960. He obtained his B.A. in sociology from Colorado State College in 1964 and his M.A. in sociology from the same school, now known as the University of Northern Colorado, in 1971.

Mayor Micheal Hancock

Michael B. Hancock (born July 29, 1969) is an American author and politician serving as the 45th and current Mayor of DenverColorado since 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he was in his second term as the Denver City Councilor from the 11th district at the time he was elected to the mayorship.

During his tenure on the Denver City Council from July 20, 2003 to July 18, 2011, Hancock served two terms as the body's president, the last ending in 2008. He was sworn in as Mayor of Denver on July 18, 2011 after defeating Chris Romer in a runoff election on June 7, 2011. Easily reelected with no significant opposition in 2015, Hancock was reelected to a third term in 2019. He is Denver's second African American mayor after Wellington Webb.

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Wilma J. Webb

Wilma J. Webb (born 1944) is an American politician who served as a member of the Colorado General Assembly from 1980 to 1993. She sponsored dozens of bills including school reform and equality initiatives. She is best known for sponsoring legislation that adopted Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a Colorado state holiday prior to it becoming the federal Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, and for her efforts to educate youth about King's legacy

President Barack Hussein Obama II
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama 

President Obama is an American politician, lawyer, and author who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, Obama was the first African-American president of the United States

Michelle Obama is an American attorney and author who served as the first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. She was the first African-American woman to serve in this position. She is the wife of former President Barack Obama.

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Vice President Kamala D. Harris

Kamala D. Harris is the Vice President of the United States of America. She was elected Vice President after a lifetime of public service, having been elected District Attorney of San Francisco, California Attorney General, and United States Senator.

Vice President Harris was born in Oakland, California to parents who emigrated from India and Jamaica. She graduated from Howard University and the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

Ketanji Brown Jackson

Ketanji Brown Jackson is an American attorney and jurist serving as a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since 2021. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Miami, Florida, Jackson attended Harvard University for college and law school, where she served as an editor on the Harvard Law Review. She began her legal career with three clerkships, including one with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. Prior to her elevation to an appellate court and from 2013 to 2021, she served as a district judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Jackson was also vice chair of the United States Sentencing Commission from 2010 to 2014. Since 2016, she has been a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers.

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