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Courthouse Journal

The Courthouse Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Association of County Officials. Along with a newsletter to members, WACO also hosts the Courthouse Journal blog.

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Feb 04

WACO Honors African American History Month

Posted on February 4, 2021 at 8:17 AM by Melanie Terry

WACO is proud to support diversity and inclusion through its communication and publications. In the month of February we are delighted to honor African America History Month. Available on our "Celebrate Diversity" are resources on this special month to use throughout the year.

The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week." This week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 14, both of which dates Black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century. 

The expansion of Black History Week to Black History Month was first proposed by the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of the Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later, in February 1970. 

In 1976 as part of the United States Bicentennial, the informal expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was officially recognized by the U.S. government. President Gerald Ford spoke in regards to this, urging Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history." 

Through WACO’s “Celebrate Diversity” web page, you can learn more about African History, as well as find resources across Washington State tincorporate into your own office.