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Community Outreach

Diversity Dispatch - February 2022 - Black History Month

By: Melissa Legaux, CMP | Feb 8, 2022

Black-History-Month

HISTORY is HIS STORY

What is Black History Month?

Black History month began in 1926 as Negro History Week, an observance of African American History before being designated as a month-long celebration in 1976 as Black History Month under President Jimmy Carter. The event is a significant acknowledgement to honor and celebrate African American contributions to society while raising awareness of the African diaspora.

Holiday History

The holiday celebration was birthed by historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950). Born to enslaved and illiterate parents, he went on to receive a PhD from Harvard University in 1912. He wholeheartedly believed education could uplift individuals in the Black community. Although Woodson didn’t live to witness Negro History Week transition into Black History Month, his dream is still alive and thriving. The holiday is now celebrated amongst many nations.

Why is Black History Month in February?

Originally, Negro History Week took place during the second week of February to commemorate the births of American journalist, author and abolitionist Frederick Douglass (February 14), and President Abraham Lincoln (February 12).


HISTORY is HER STORY

History Repeats Itself

Since the inception and observance of this historical holiday, racial inequality has once again met us at our front door step. The United States of America, not only experienced a world-wide pandemic due to COVID-19, we also simultaneously witnessed the tragic deaths of far too many young African American souls right in front of our eyes. In the mist of the tragic killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the world was reminded that although we have come so far, we have a lot more work ahead of us. Protests took place across each state as Americans forged in unity alongside one another on a path leading to unity by acknowledging and addressing generations of racial inequality.

Invitation of Change

I invite you to walk with me. Take a step into the shoes of the everlasting souls who laid their lives before us to create a foundation of change. Embrace the diverse perspective of something unfamiliar right here in our backyard, Atlanta, GA. I look forward to walking alongside you as we forge together in celebration of our beautiful and unique differences while upholding the promise of hope and progression ahead because, I too, have a dream alongside the many women of color leading the pathway including Georgia’s own Stacey Abrams and Vice President Kamala Harris amongst many others.


HISTORY is YOUR STORY

Celebrate Black History Month in Atlanta, GA

  1. Witness the pulse and sounds of Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre

    Founded in 1958, the theatre company embodies Ailey’s vision dedicated to enriching the American modern dance heritage and preserving the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience. Performances live at the Fabulous Fox Theatre: Thursday February 10 – Monday February 13, 2022. www.foxtheatre.org/events

  2. Experience history through Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. legacy

    Visit one of Atlanta’s top tourist destinations located on a National Historic Park. Visit his birth home where Dr. King played as a child and worshiped as a young adult at Ebeneezer Baptist Church. www.nps.gov/malu/planyourvisit/ebenezer_baptist_church.htm

  3. Come and get your soul food

    During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, enslaved African people were only given meager rations of low food quality and nutritional value. However, still they rise. African food traditions and recipes were preserved and adapted despite limited resources. Although this food is associated with comfort, it was adapted out of necessity; affectionally referred to as the taste of the deep south’s soul. Eat the way to your heart by visiting Paschal's Restaurant. The location of choice for many greats including: Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Andrew Young, Maynard Jackson, and Dr. Martin Luther King, just to name a few. www.paschalsatlanta.com

  4. Visit a local African American History Museum in the Sweet Auburn District

    The African American Panoramic Experience (APEX) Museum is devoted to African American history to promote cultural awareness, and celebrate business pioneers of African Americans in Georgia. www.apexmuseum.org

  5. Stomp the yard at the AUC (Atlanta University Center) The consortium of four Historically Black colleges and universities: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College boast a distinguished group of alumni including: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., filmmaker Spike Lee, Atlanta’s first African American Mayor Maynard H. Jackson Jr., United States Senator - Reverend Raphael Warnock, Actor John David Washington, and actress Keisha Knight Pulliam. Each university offers weekly campus tours. While on campus, visit the beautiful home of Atlanta’s first Black millionaire entrepreneur, Mr. Alonzo F. Herndon. Discover business excellence while learning the story of his rise to greatness as a former slave to becoming one of Atlanta’s wealthiest citizens as barber and later founder and president of Atlanta Life Insurance Company. www.theherndonfoundation.org

 

Author

Legaux, Melissa2
Melissa Legaux, CMP
Cobb Travel and Tourism

 
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