image by: GPA Photo Archive
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment the world first informed me that Black women were supposed to move through life with suffering and pain. Growing up, most of the depictions of Blackness I saw around me were in the context of struggle. On the rare occasion I saw Black people who weren’t struggling, there was an underlying suggestion that my family— my mom, my brother, and I—shared responsibility for the barriers that limited us.
I’m not fighting the same exact battles as my parents, or my grandparents, but I still see the struggle of Black people—especially Black women— everywhere. The methods have changed, but the message remains the same. Discrimination and racism are still robbing…
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The backlash against critical race theory has now become a crusade to delete Blackness from the national story. Young people deserve to know the complete American history — this month and the 11 others.
This year's theme, Black Health and Wellness, pays homage to medical scholars and health care providers. The theme is especially timely as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected minority communities and placed unique burdens on Black health care professionals.
Freeman A. Hrabowski III, the president of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County (UMBC), and his wife, Jacqueline, want to change attitudes about the vaccine in the Black community—and save lives. The Hrabowskis, who are Black, participated in a Phase 3 clinical trial for the Moderna Vaccine, conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “I am from Alabama,” says Hrabowski. “All my life, I knew about what was done to Black men and how they were abused, and the awful tragedy of the Tuskegee experiment. So, I can understand people questioning the motives of people when they talk about the study.”
The constraints — under the guise of banning the teaching of critical race theory — limit what some state-supported institutions can discuss about the nation's racial past.
February was selected to align with President Lincoln and Frederick Douglass's birthdays.
The discipline of public health lies at the intersection of science and social justice. Its goal is to promote health and prevent disease through education, research, and advocacy. Throughout history, Black Americans have made invaluable contributions to the field. Tragically, many of their accomplishments failed to be recognized. The list below is by no means exhaustive; however, it highlights contributions that have been made against tremendous odds. In spite of being denied access to the very systems and institutions they helped to improve; the Black Americans below contributed significantly to the advancement of public health science.
A timeline of two millennia of world-shaping individuals and momentous events that define Black history
In 1926, Woodson and the ASALH launched a “Negro History Week” to bring attention to his mission and help school systems coordinate their focus on the topic. Woodson chose the second week in February, as it encompassed both Frederick Douglass’ birthday on February 14 and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12.
In recognition of Black History Month, here are a few facts and figures about the African-American experience in the U.S.
“A white medical industry has never taken Black pain and suffering and illness as seriously and passionately as compared to white folk and rich folk,” says Cooper-Owen. “Blaming patients isn’t a fruitful exercise. As a system and structure, we need to transform.”
A new museum in Washington shows the personal side of African Americans' suffering, perseverance, and triumphs.
Black History Month: Can digital tech help remedy health disparities for black people?
First acknowledged in the UK in 1987, Black History Month has always been somewhat celebrated and recognised as a core part of British history. However, this year has forced the world to see the reality of black history and racism like never before. This change has been propelled forward by a series of catalytic global events such as the Black Lives Matter movement, the Windrush generation, the seismic global call for action since the death of George Floyd in May 2020, and of course the number of black people dying disproportionately in the pandemic.
History is recorded by those who have been in power; because of this, it should not be surprising that few data exist on the engagement of significant minorities in the medical field.
“Tuskegee shouldn’t be the first thing people think of,” Harriet A. Washington, the author of Medical Apartheid, tells TIME. “It’s the example that the government has admitted to and acknowledged. It’s so famous that people think it was the worst, but it was relatively mild compared to other stuff.”
The failure to appreciate Black history leaves our nation incomplete.
It was in 1964 when the author James Baldwin reflected on the shortcomings of his education. “When I was going to school,” he said, “I began to be bugged by the teaching of American history because it seemed that that history had been taught without cognizance of my presence.”
Baldwin’s thoughts echoed those of many before and after him. Half a century earlier, when Carter G. Woodson had the same frustration, he set the foundation for what would become today’s national Black History Month, observed each February.
No one has played a greater role in helping all Americans know the black past than Carter G. Woodson, the individual who created Negro History Week in Washington, D.C., in February 1926. Woodson was the second black American to receive a PhD in history from Harvard—following W.E.B. Du Bois by a few years.
Every year for a month, we celebrate the heroes of Black history. But these stories can obscure how change happens and who gets left behind.
And many educators say that, just as a moment of crisis for African Americans fueled Woodson’s original vision, this moment in time is proving to be a new turning point for black history as a discipline.
Concerns about vaccination are unfortunate, but they have historical roots.
I implore my colleagues to not only take time to recognize the contributions of Black people in the United States, but also to acknowledge the many ways Black bodies have involuntarily contributed to medical advances we take for granted. Only then can we begin to change the health-care system and our role in perpetuating biases within it.
During Black History Month, we hear aspects of this story and highlight the sacrifices of Black Americans. These are, of course, stories worth telling, and Black History Month is a wonderful tool to tell the under-told story of the Black American experience. It’s especially useful when it’s dynamic and includes Black women, Black queer folks, and those who challenge the effectiveness of loving your way out of systemic bondage. But there’s something missing from the narrative. Until we learn to uplift the humanity and diversity of Blackness, we’re not using it to its full potential.
What better way to use Black History Month than as practice for creating a world that demands displays of Black joy and pleasure year-round?
Woodson’s ultimate goal was not to create Black History Month, but to see its necessity eliminated. The day that black history is recognized as an integral part of American history, Black History Month will no longer be necessary.
To understand our present, we must understand our past. These programs will give you a closer look at the history of racism and injustice against black Americans that lead us to this moment.
Six historians weigh in on the biggest misconceptions about Black history, including the Tuskegee experiment and enslaved people’s finances.
From colorful beach communities you didn't know had a Black history to majority Black cities making a comeback as small businesses thrive, we've rounded up great destinations that highlight the historical and present-day contributions of African Americans in the US.
In an effort to honor this expansive and growing history, Black History Month was established by way of a weekly celebration in February known as “Negro History Week” by historian Carter G. Woodson. But just as Black history is more than a month, so too are the numerous events and figures that are often overlooked during it. What follows is a list of some of those “lesser known” moments and facts in Black history.
February is African American History Month The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.
In celebration of Black History Month, the Museum invites you to engage with digital resources to preserve, digitize and share African American family history.
While Black History Month is synonymous with prominent figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, George Washington Carver and Barack Obama, there are countless other African Americans who've made a profound impact in history...
Every February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month.
Despite continuous advances in scientific knowledge and technology regarding public health and health care, the health status of the African American community is still disproportionately lagging behind other racial and ethnic groups.
February is dedicated as Black History Month, honoring the triumphs and struggles of African Americans throughout U.S. history, including the civil rights movement and their artistic, cultural and political achievements.