ATLANTA (WAOK) – – Today marks the first day of Black History month. First celebrated as Negro History Week in 1926, the observance of Black history in America was the brainchild of African-American scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Woodson launched the commemorative week to attempt to neutralize what he saw as ignorance and the deliberate distortion of Black History. He chose the month of February for the great number of great African-American pioneers and institutions whose birthdays or launch dates fell within the month. Among these, the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Eubie Blake, the NAACP and the first Pan African Congress. The celebration became a month long observance in 1976.
(Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)