COPLAC Members around the country hosted events, facilitated discussions and recognized the central role of Black Americans in U.S. history.
Black History Month pays “tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society,” according to the government website on African American History Month. In 1925, Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard trained historian and founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), proposed dedicating a week every year to commemorate African American history. Negro History Week was first celebrated in 1926 and had become a valuable part of black culture in America by 1950. The week was extended to a month in 1976, when President Gerald R. Ford declared that Americans should “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
The tradition of honoring African American and Black American citizens’ substantial contributions to U.S. history and culture remains strong today. COPLAC members and higher education institutions around the country dedicate this month to raising awareness, starting conversations and remembering black history.