I appreciate the historical background of Black History month, first celebrated as a week in February, 1926, to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Since 1976, every president of the US has designated February as a month to honor the achievements of black Americans. So why don’t we have a White History month? Because white history is the norm, already an integral part of the school year. Isn’t it time to routinely recognize our country’s black heritage every month as well?
One tool for designed especially for folks living in North Carolina (but useful for any state) is The Heritage Calendar. These are available online as a free download, along with lesson plans for multiple subjects and grade levels.
These calendars are available as far back as 2013 and include super photos and bios of a broad range of individuals. As Vanessa Harrison, president of AT&T NC writes, these calendars feature people of all races who “have contributed significantly to the lives and experiences of African Americans in our state.” Published by AT&T in coordination with the Department of Public Instruction and UNC School of Media and Mass Communication, along with The News and Observer and other organizations, each month features individuals such as Joan Higginbotham (3rd African-American woman to fly in space). Day-by-day recognition of many “firsts” is another helpful feature of the calendars, including birthdates and significant facts on Americans from Harriet Tubman to Quincy Jones to Colin Powell. Let’s become familiar with our ENTIRE heritage, not just portions of it.
Follow NC Heritage Calendars on Twitter @ NCHeritageCal/ Hashtag #NCHeritage