The month of May has traditionally been known as the first day of Black History Month. On this special day, students and teachers around the country are invited to attend school for a special curriculum-focused program. It is believed that this curriculum-focused educational activity began at the request of the Philadelphia teachers when they realized that many of their students did not know much about the history of race or Ethnicity. The program is now taught in many schools throughout the United States.
During the First Day of Black History Month, children and teachers are given a chance to explore three important events in the history of the Black community. These include the enslavement of blacks in the former slavery south, the Jim Crow practice of white supremacy, and the rioting and destruction of black neighborhoods in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.
In many areas of the United States, the First Day of Black History Month is recognized as a moment of national unity. In New Orleans, for example, motorists driving south on the expressway no longer see signs that state First Day of Black History Month.
First Day of Black History Month is an excellent opportunity for parents, teachers, and educators to teach children about the importance of ensuring equal treatment under the law. It also provides an opportunity for students to appreciate the historical significance of their African American heritage. In the past, the First Day of Black History Month was observed only once a year. Today, it is celebrated every calendar month, with the fourth day of the month featuring a different subject.
Black History Month Quotes:
- “Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- ”The African race is a rubber ball. The harder you dash it to the ground, the higher it will rise.” – African Proverb
- ”You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man. “- Frederick Douglass
- “I swear to the Lord I still can’t see why democracy means everybody but me.” – Langston Hughe
- ”Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” – Carol Moseley-Braun
- ”For I am my mother’s daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart.” – Mary McLeod Bethune
- ”If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” – Marcus Garvey
- “Hold on to your dreams of a better life and stay committed to striving to realize it.” – Earl G. Graves, Sr.
Throughout the month of May, First Day of Black History Month activities can be found in a number of locations nationwide. The National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C., hosts a free program for children and adults on the day. The Museum offers live music, theater shows, movies, and a parade. Other cities host celebrations as well. For example, in Philadelphia, a luncheon was held at the city’s Race Course Park to celebrate the historic achievement of Martin Luther King Jr. on his way to becoming the first Protestant leader in the U.S.A.
First Day of Black History Month activities can be found all over the country. However, the month of May is considered the most appropriate time to observe the historic accomplishments of African Americans. May is the ideal month to learn more about the lives and legacy of these historical figures. As children explore the world of civil rights and diversity, they can reflect on their own experiences as well as those of others.
Many communities hold First Day of Black History Month activities as a way to bring families together. These programs are usually planned by local museums, historic houses, or school systems. Invitations are mailed out two to three weeks before the celebration to allow those who couldn’t attend any earlier to still join in the festivities. The activities usually last for one or two hours but may vary depending on the size of the community.