Millennial History

By Steve Jackson

Black History Month

 On January 31, 1865, the US House of Representatives passed the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States. In 1864, an amendment abolishing slavery had passed the US Senate but died in the  House as Democrats rallied in the name of states’ rights to own slaves. President Abraham Lincoln preferred that the amendment receive bipartisan support—some Democrats indicated support for the measure, but many still resisted. The amendment passed 119 to 56, seven votes above the necessary two-thirds majority. Several Democrats abstained, but the Thirteenth Amendment was sent to the states for ratification, which came in December 1865. With the Passage of the amendment, the institution of slavery that had indelibly shaped colonial American history was eradicated.  

     February’s Black History month originated as Negro History Week by historian Carter Woodson in 1926 to coincide with the birthdays of Republican President Abraham Lincoln, the signer of the Emancipation Proclamation, and former slave and staunch Republican Frederick Douglass. At the beginning, Negro History Week received a weak response, but Woodson was successful in convincing some public schools to integrate Black history into some of their curriculums. Over time, adoption of these increased, and the event inspired Black community groups to form.  

    This change in collective consciousness rallied the Black students and faculty at Kent State University to celebrate the first Black History Month initiated on February 1, 1970. Within six years of the inaugural celebration, people all over the United States were observing Black History Month. President Gerald Ford acknowledged the importance of recognizing Black contributions and histories within the larger frame of US history. Ford extended the week into a month-long discovery, exclaiming to Americans that “we should seize the opportunity to honor the too-often-neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every endeavor throughout our history.”   

    Unfortunately today’s WOKE so-called progressive” educators “ have weaponized a movement that was meant as a joyous means of discovery into a tool of division. If you’re white, you’re supposed to grovel for forgiveness for what you never did while simultaneously elevating yourself to become a social justice warrior to prevent the old days from happening again. If you’re black, you’re supposed to accept your position in society as the perpetually disadvantaged who resents needing assistance.



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