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Black History Month

students posing for photo while coloring their banner pieces

The Origins of Black History Month

February is Black History Month. This month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Black History Month began as "Negro History Week" in 1926, the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The week was intended to highlight the historical accomplishments and contributions of African Americans. Over time, the week evolved into Black History Month. The month is an opportunity to reflect on the struggles, achievements, and cultural impact of African Americans throughout history. Since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. The 2024 theme is "African Americans and the Arts" spanning the many impacts Black Americans have had on visual arts, music, cultural movements, and more.

South St. Paul Schools are Recognizing the Month

In South St. Paul students in the Black Pride Organization at the Secondary Building are making posters about their favorite Black Author and discussing Black American music artists they connect with. They colored papers (pictured) and pieced the sheets together to make a large banner displaying famous Black Americans. At the elementary schools, displays are up in the hallways for students and staff to read about African Americans who have had an impact on the United States. In the classrooms, lessons will highlight the experiences, successes, and history of the Black and African American community.

February 12 is National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID). NAAPID is a day to encourage African American families to get involved with their students education. At South St. Paul Schools, we are using the day to encourage all families to be involved. Each school is hosting an event for all families that will focus on Black history and culture.

  • SSP Middle School: 9:00-10:15 am, Guest Speaker- Dr. Nuhu Sims, gallery of student work, and refreshments
  • Kaposia Education Center: 8:00-9:00 am, light breakfast, African American themed books to read, and storyteller
  • Lincoln Center: 7:50-9:00 am, Guest Speaker- Jearlyn Steele, light breakfast and African American themed books to read

While Black History Month is a designated time to focus on African American history, it is essential to recognize the contributions of Black individuals throughout the year and to promote a more inclusive and diverse understanding of history. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.


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