The history of Black History Month

ABC News anchor Byron Pitts shines a light on how Black History Month originated, who founded the now federally recognized celebration and why it occurs in February.
2:36 | 02/01/21

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Transcript for The history of Black History Month
Today of course kicking off black history month. We want to turn to Byron Pitts to get a little history lesson on this black history month and how this month grew into the celebration we know today. Reporter: February means it's officially black history month, a federally recognized celebration that gives every American a chance to reflect on how African-American achievements have contributed to U.S. History and how African accomplishments have impacted the world. What's the history of black history month? It all started with this man, Dr. Carter G. Woodson. In the early 20th century while earning a masters degree from the university of Chicago Woodson agree frustrated with racist representation and the exclusion of African-Americans in books that shaped history. He established the association for the study of Negro life and history, which is known now as the association for the study of African-American life and history. In 1916 the organization launched the journal of Negro hstory which celebrated African-American history and honored the achievements of people of African dissent. In the second week of February Woodson launched Negro history week to promote the study of black history in schools. Why February? The group chose the second week of February to include the birthdays of Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. It gave all Americans a new understanding of black culture. Civil rights workers opened freedom schools in the south. As black study programs spread to universities and campuses across the nation, the week transformed into black history month. In 1976 Gerald Ford officially declared February black history month, urging Americans to seize the opportunity to honor the too often neglected accomplishments of black Americans throughout our history the rest, as they say, is history. A big thank you to our own Byron Pitts to that. We want to give a shout out to Dr. David a. Canton at the university of Florida for his help in bringing the research for that piece altogether. Coming up next on "Gma3,"

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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