, Muskogee, OK


February 18, 2014

Take time to celebrate black history

In 1976, during America’s bicentennial, President Gerald Ford called upon the public to honor the history and accomplishments of black Americans when he officially recognized February as Black History Month.

The origins of Black History Month can be traced to Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland. Woodson and Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, or ASNLH. This organization dedicated itself to researching and promoting the achievements of black Americans and others of African descent.

In 1926, the ASNLH sponsored a national Negro History Week and chose the second week of February for the celebration for a very specific reason. The week coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States who presided over the end of slavery, and Frederick Douglass, the famed former slave who rose to prominence as a social reformer, writer, orator, and statesman.

It’s important that we still celebrate it. This month gives us a chance to learn — or re-learn — the importance of blacks in history.

This area is rich in black history.

Just south of here is the Honey Springs Civil War Battlefield. There, the first major battle where African-Americans (First Kansas Colored Infantry) were given the opportunity to prove their fighting abilities.

Here in Muskogee, Bass Reeves was the first African American to receive a commission as a Deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River.

So take time and celebrate this month. Black History Month isn’t just a celebration of black history, but a celebration of American history.

Text Only
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.