All across America in the month of February, schools, communities, churches and organizations pause to reflect on the struggles and contributions of African Americans in the United States as part of Black History Month.
Fifth grade students at Edith L. Frierson Elementary School on Wadmalaw Island share how this month-long celebration came to be.
“Black History Month first began as Negro History Week in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson,” Jazmin Sharp said.
“Woodson was a writer and historian. His parents were former enslaved people. He is known as the Father of Black History,” Isaiah Hughes said.
"Woodson wanted Black History Week to be held during the second week of February, to line up with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln on the 12, and former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass on the 14," Zakhari Johnson said.
"During that week, Woodson wanted schools and communities all over the nation to learn about the accomplishments of African Americans and celebrate their contributions to society," Treasur Drayton said.
“He believed, “”If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, and it stands in danger of being exterminated,”' Ronald Thornley said.
"Negro History Week was first celebrated as a month-long event in 1970, by black students and educators at Kent State University in Ohio," Sherice Sharp said.
"In 1976, President Gerald Ford was the first American president to officially recognize Black History Month," Hosanna Moultrie said.
"He told people in America to '"seize the opportunity to honor the neglected accomplishments of Black Americans,'" Hartlynn Thornley said.
Black History Month or similar observances are celebrated in five countries around the world.
It is celebrated during the month of February in the United States and Canada.
It is celebrated during the month of October in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland.