Each February, Americans come together to celebrate the culture and identity of African Americans in our country’s history. This is known as Black History Month or African American History Month. According to the History Channel, Black History Month was first officially recognized in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. February was the chosen month because both President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas were born in this month. Also, every year since its official beginning, the month has been given a specific theme. The 2020 theme is “African Americans and the Vote,” and this is in honor of the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (which granted African American men the right to vote), and the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment (which granted American women the right to vote).
Every other year, the Wesleyan Lower School teachers and students celebrate and decorate for Black History Month. Each class is focused on a different famous African American man or woman. The class will research their activist and put a display about that person’s life and their contributions to the Civil Rights movement on their classroom door. On Feb. 12, instead of having classes, the lower school students took turns learning about activists from other classes and teaching those classes about their own activist.