February – Black History Month

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For the entire month of February, the United States observes Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month. Throughout the month, we remember important people and events relating to the history of the African diaspora. Black History Month has received official recognition from the U.S and Canadian governments, and in recent years has been observed by the United Kingdom as well.

Before February was dedicated to celebrating African-American history, there was Negro History Week. This tradition began in 1926 and was celebrated in February to coincide with the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln (the president who abolished slavery) and the birthday of Frederick Douglass (a prominent abolitionist and statesman). It wasn’t until the 1970s that educators began proposing expanding the week into a month full of learning and celebrating the history of Black Americans.


Each year, a theme is selected for Black History Month. In 2023, the theme is Black Resistance. The theme describes an opposition to historically oppressive rhetoric and systemic injustice and will serve as a reminder that resistance is something that we can all practice to create a future that is bright for all people.

Unfortunately, while we have made great strides in recognizing the injustices that Black Americans face, African-Americans still face disparities in the U.S. today. The findings of the mesothelioma researchers echoed previous studies that found black patients with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases had worse survival rates than their white co-workers. African-Americans across the country are facing health disparities and a lack of access to medical help and appropriate treatment.