And, 2013 promises to be a blockbuster Black History Month.
The theme for Black History Month is announced annually by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in Washington DC, which also offers "theme kits" for every African American History year.
This year's theme addresses a complex topic of huge importance.
- 2013 marks the 50th and 150th year anniversaries, respectively, of two parallel events, occurring in 1863 and 1963.*
- In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln's deeply controversial Emancipation Proclamation was enacted, freeing all slaves in the United States.
- A full century later, 1963, marked a tipping-point in the civil rights movement: the March on Washington, an event that is remains in living memory of many older Americans today.
- 2013 also marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech, which was delivered at the March on Washington.
- 2013 also saw the inauguration of the second term of the Obama presidency, itself a historic event. See A Teachable Moment: Martin Luther King Day & Obama Inauguration Day Both January 21, 2013.>
- Finally, in keeping with the above but on a much lesser note, 2013 was also the year in which the newly released movie Lincoln created an unprecedented level of popular cultural discussion about the US Civil War, and the character of President Lincoln himself.
And, while the above are themes of this year's Black History Month, it's also worth noting that:
About the Association for the Study of African American Life and History
- The organization's stated goal "is to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community."
- It is currently located temporarily on the campus of Howard University.
- Established on September 9, 1915
- Founded y Dr. Carter G. Woodson
- The organization are the founders of Black History Month
- Contact: http://www.asalh.org
- Theme Kit information: http://www.asalh.org/themeproducts.html
Variations on the Theme: Medgar Evers College Offers Elaborate ProgramOf course, nothing's written in stone, and many organizations develop their own focus. For instance, there's always a remarkably rich, month-long series of programs for Black History Month at Brooklyn's Medgar Evers College, part of the CUNY system.
*(For a quick overview, you can access a good one-page document outlining the relationship between these two landmark civil rights events, spanning the 19th and 20th centuries, here .)