African-American culture known as Black American culture, refers to the contributions of African Americans to the culture of the United States, either as part of or distinct from mainstream American culture. The distinct identity of African-American culture is rooted in the historical experience of the African-American people, including the Middle Passage; the culture is both distinct and enormously influential on American and global worldwide culture as a whole. African-American culture is rooted in the blend between the cultures of West and Central Africa and the Anglo-Celtic culture that has influenced and modified its development in the American South. Understanding its identity within the culture of the United States it is, in the anthropological sense, conscious of its origins as a blend of West and Central African cultures. Although slavery restricted the ability of African Americans to practice their original cultural traditions, many practices and beliefs survived, over time have modified and/or blended with European cultures and other cultures such as that of Native Americans.
African-American identity was established during the slavery period, producing a dynamic culture that has had and continues to have a profound impact on American culture as a whole, as well as that of the broader world. Elaborate rituals and ceremonies were a significant part of African-Americans' ancestral culture. Many West African societies traditionally believed. From this disposition, they treated their environment with mindful care, they generally believed that a spiritual life source existed after death, that ancestors in this spiritual realm could mediate between the supreme creator and the living. Honor and prayer was displayed to the spirit of those past. West Africans believed in spiritual possession. In the beginning of the 18th century, Christianity began to spread across North Africa; the enslaved Africans brought this complex religious dynamic within their culture to America. This fusion of traditional African beliefs with Christianity provided a common place for those practicing religion in Africa and America.
After emancipation, unique African-American traditions continued to flourish, as distinctive traditions or radical innovations in music, literature, religion and other fields. 20th-century sociologists, such as Gunnar Myrdal, believed that African Americans had lost most of their cultural ties with Africa. But, anthropological field research by Melville Herskovits and others demonstrated that there has been a continuum of African traditions among Africans of the diaspora; the greatest influence of African cultural practices on European culture is found below the Mason-Dixon line in the American South. For many years African-American culture developed separately from European-American culture, both because of slavery and the persistence of racial discrimination in America, as well as African-American slave descendants' desire to create and maintain their own traditions. Today, African-American culture has become a significant part of American culture and yet, at the same time, remains a distinct cultural body.
From the earliest days of American slavery in the 17th century, slave owners sought to exercise control over their slaves by attempting to strip them of their African culture. The physical isolation and societal marginalization of African slaves and of their free progeny, facilitated the retention of significant elements of traditional culture among Africans in the New World and in the United States in particular. Slave owners deliberately tried to repress independent political or cultural organization in order to deal with the many slave rebellions or acts of resistance that took place in the United States, Brazil and the Dutch Guyanas. African cultures, slave rebellions, the civil rights movement have shaped African-American religious, familial and economic behaviors; the imprint of Africa is evident in a myriad of ways: in politics, language, hairstyles, dance, religion and worldview. In turn, African-American culture has had a pervasive, transformative impact on many elements of mainstream American culture.
This process of mutual creative exchange is called creolization. Over time, the culture of African slaves and their descendants has been ubiquitous in its impact on not only the dominant American culture, but on world culture as well. Slaveholders limited or prohibited education of enslaved African Americans because they feared it might empower their chattel and inspire or enable emancipatory ambitions. In the United States, the legislation that denied slaves formal education contributed to their maintaining a strong oral tradition, a common feature of indigenous African cultures. African-based oral traditions became the primary means of preserving history and other cultural information among the people; this was consistent with the griot practices of oral history in many African and other cultures that did not rely on the written word. Many of these cultural elements have been passed from generation to generation through storytelling; the folktales provided African Americans the opportunity to educate one another.
Examples of African-American folktales include trickster tales of Br'er Rabbit and heroic tales such as that of John Henry. The Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris helped to bring African-American folk tales into mainstream adoption. Harris did not appreciate the complexity of the stories nor their potential for a lasting impact on society. Other narratives that appear as important, recurring motifs in African-American cu
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr, it is observed on the third Monday of January each year, around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act; the earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which protested racial discrimination in federal and state law; the campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays, it was observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000. The idea of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday was promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations. After King's death, U.
S. Representative John Conyers and U. S. Senator Edward Brooke introduced a bill in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday; the bill first came to a vote in the U. S. House of Representatives in 1979. However, it fell five votes short of the number needed for passage. Two of the main arguments mentioned by opponents were that a paid holiday for federal employees would be too expensive, that a holiday to honor a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding tradition. Only two other figures have national holidays in the U. S. honoring them: George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Soon after, the King Center turned to support from the corporate community and the general public; the success of this strategy was cemented when musician Stevie Wonder released the single "Happy Birthday" to popularize the campaign in 1980 and hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981. Six million signatures were collected for a petition to Congress to pass the law, termed by a 2006 article in The Nation as "the largest petition in favor of an issue in U.
S. history". Senators Jesse Helms and John Porter East led opposition to the holiday and questioned whether King was important enough to receive such an honor. Helms criticized King's opposition to the Vietnam War and accused him of espousing "action-oriented Marxism". Helms led a filibuster against the bill and on October 3, 1983, submitted a 300-page document to the Senate alleging that King had associations with communists. Democratic New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan declared the document a "packet of filth", threw it on the Senate floor and stomped on it. President Ronald Reagan opposed the holiday, citing cost concerns; when asked to comment on Helms' accusations that King was a communist, the president said "We'll know in thirty-five years, won't we?", in reference to the eventual release of FBI surveillance tapes, sealed. But on November 2, 1983, Reagan signed a bill, proposed by Representative Katie Hall of Indiana, to create a federal holiday honoring King; the bill had passed the Senate by a count of 78 to 22 and the House of Representatives by 338 to 90, veto-proof margins.
The holiday was observed for the first time on January 20, 1986. It is observed on the third Monday of January; the bill established the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission to oversee observance of the holiday, Coretta Scott King, King's wife, was made a member of this commission for life by President George H. W. Bush in May 1989. Although the federal holiday honoring King was signed into law in 1983 and took effect three years not every U. S. state chose to observe the holiday at the state level until 1991, when the New Hampshire legislature created "Civil Rights Day" and abolished "Fast Day". In 2000, Utah became the last state to name a holiday after King when "Human Rights Day" was changed to "Martin Luther King Jr. Day". In 1986, Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt, a Democrat, created a paid state MLK holiday in Arizona by executive order just before he left office, but in 1987, his Republican successor Evan Mecham, citing an attorney general's opinion that Babbitt's order was illegal, reversed Babbitt's decision days after taking office.
That year, Mecham proclaimed the third Sunday in January to be "Martin Luther King Jr./Civil Rights Day" in Arizona, albeit as an unpaid holiday. In 1990, Arizona voters were given the opportunity to vote on giving state employees a paid MLK holiday; that same year, the National Football League threatened to move Super Bowl XXVII, planned for Arizona in 1993, if the MLK holiday was voted down. In the November election, the voters were offered two King Day options: Proposition 301, which replaced Columbus Day on the list of paid state holidays, Proposition 302, which merged Lincoln's and Washington's birthdays into one paid holiday to make room for MLK Day. Both measures failed to pass, with only 49% of voters approving Prop 302, the more popular of the two options; the state lost the chance to host Super Bowl XXVII, subsequently held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. In a 1992 referendum, the voters, this time given only one option for a paid King Day, approved state-level recognition of the holiday.
On May 2, 2000, South Carolina governor Jim Hodges signed a bill to make King's birthday an official state holiday. South Carolina was the last state to recognize the day as a paid holiday for all state employees. Prior to this, employees could choose between celebrating Martin Lu
Timeline of African-American history
This is a timeline of the African-American history in what is now the United States, from 1565 to the present. 1565 The Spanish colony of St. Augustine in Florida became the first permanent European settlement in what would become the US centuries later. 1619 The first record of Africans in English colonial America when men were brought to the Jamestown colony, taken as prizes from a Spanish ship. They were treated as indentured servants, at least one was recorded as owning land in the colony.1640 John Punch, a black indentured servant, ran away with two white indentured servants, James and Victor. After the three were captured, Punch was sentenced to serve Virginia planter Hugh Gwyn for life; this made John Punch the first documented slave in Virginia.1654 John Casor, a black man who claimed to have completed his term of indenture, became the first recognized slave-for-life in a civil case in the Virginia colony. The court ruled with his master who said he had an indefinite servitude for life.1662 Virginia law, using the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, said that children in the colony were born into their mother's social status.
This was contrary to English common law for English subjects, which held that children took their father's social status.1672 Royal African Company is founded in England, allowing slaves to be shipped from Africa to the colonies in North America and the Caribbean. England entered the slave trade.1676 Both free and enslaved African Americans fought in Bacon's Rebellion along with English colonists. 1705 The Virginia Slave codes define as slaves all those servants brought into the colony who were not Christian in their original countries, as well as those American Indians sold by other Indians to colonists.1712 April 6 – The New York Slave Revolt of 1712.1739 September 9 – In the Stono Rebellion, South Carolina slaves gather at the Stono River to plan an armed march for freedom.1753 Benjamin Banneker designed and built the first clock in the British American colonies. He created a series of almanacs, he corresponded with Thomas Jefferson and wrote that "blacks were intellectually equal to whites".
Banneker worked with Pierre L'Enfant to survey and design a street and urban plan for Washington, D. C.1760 Jupiter Hammon has a poem printed, becoming the first published African-American poet.1765–1767 Non-Importation Agreements – The First Continental Congress creates a multi-colony agreement to forbid importation of anything from British merchants. This implicitly includes slaves, stops the slave trade in Philadelphia; the second similar act explicitly stops the slave trade.1770 March 5 – Crispus Attucks is killed by British soldiers in the Boston Massacre, a precursor to the American Revolution.1773 Phillis Wheatley has her book Poems on Various Subjects and Moral published.1774 The first black Baptist congregations are organized in the South: Silver Bluff Baptist Church in South Carolina, First African Baptist Church near Petersburg, Virginia.1775 April 14 – The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage holds four meetings. It was re-formed in 1784 as the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, Benjamin Franklin would be its president.1776–1783 American Revolution Thousands of enslaved African Americans in the South escape to British lines, as they were promised freedom to fight with the British.
In South Carolina, 25,000 enslaved African Americans, one-quarter of those held, escape to the British or otherwise leave their plantations. After the war, many African Americans are evacuated with the British for England. Still others go to the West Indies. An estimated 8–10,000 were evacuated from the colonies in these years as free people, about 50 percent of those slaves who defected to the British and about 80 percent of those who survived. Many free blacks in the North fight with the colonists for the rebellion.1777 July 8 – The Vermont Republic abolishes slavery, the first future state to do so. No slaves were held in Vermont.1780 Pennsylvania becomes the first U. S. state to abolish slavery.1781 In challenges by Elizabeth Freeman and Quock Walker, two independent county courts in Massachusetts found slavery illegal under state constitution and declared each to be free persons.1783 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed that Massachusetts state constitution had abolished slavery.
It ruled that "the granting of rights and privileges wholly incompatible and repugnant to" slavery, in an appeal case arising from the escape of former slave Quock Walker. When the British left New York and Charleston in 1783, they took the last of 5500 Loyalists to the Caribbean, along with some 15,000 slaves.1787 July 13 – The Northwest Ordinance bans the expansion of slavery into U. S. territories north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River.1788 The First African Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia is organized under Andrew Bryan.1790–1810 Manumission of slaves Following the Revolution, numerous slaveholders in the Upper South free their slaves. By 1810, 75 percent of all blacks in Delaware are free, 7.2 percent of blacks in Virginia are free.1791 February – Major Andrew Ellicott hires Benjamin Banneker, an African-American draftsman, to assist in a survey of the boundaries of the 100-square-mile federal district that would become the District of Columbia.1793 February 12 – The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 is passed.
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, some have Native American ancestry. According to U. S. Census Bureau data, African immigrants do not self-identify as African American; the overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities. Immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not self-identify with the term. African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens; the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States; the first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian conquistador in 1565 in St. Augustine, is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
The ill-fated colony was immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. The first recorded Africans in British North America were "20 and odd negroes" who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants; as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. An indentured servant would work for several years without wages; the status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery. Servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Unlike slaves, they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out, their children did not inherit their status, on their release from contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary", a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of lifetime slavery when they sentenced John Punch, a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master Hugh Gwyn for running away. In the Spanish Florida some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism.
Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683. One of the Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black "slaves", John Casor, resulting from the court ruling of a civil case; the popular conception of a race-based slave system did not develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves into New Amsterdam. All the colony's slaves, were freed upon its surrender to the British. Massachusetts was the first British colony to recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662, Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law; this principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported defining as slaves all people of African descent who remained in the c
African-American art is a broad term describing the visual arts of the American black community. Influenced by various cultural traditions, including those of Africa and the Americas, traditional African-American art forms include the range of plastic arts, from basket weaving and quilting to woodcarving and painting; the earliest evidence of African-American art in the United States is the work of skilled craftsmen slaves from New England. Two categories of slave craft items survive from colonial America: articles created for personal use by slaves and articles created for public use. Examples from the period between the 17th century and the early 19th century include: small drums, wrought-iron figures, ceramic vessels, gravestones. Many of Africa’s most skilled slave artisans were hired out by slave owners. With the consent of their masters, some slave artisans were able to keep a small percentage of the wages earned in their free time and thereby save enough money to purchase their, their families', freedom.
The public works of art produced by slave craftsmen were an important contribution to the Colonial economy. In New England and the Mid-Atlantic colonies, slaves were apprenticed as goldsmiths, engravers, carvers portrait painters, carpenters and iron workers; the construction and decoration of the Janson House built on the Hudson River in 1712 was the work of African-Americans. Many of the oldest buildings in Louisiana, South Carolina and Georgia were built by craftsmen slaves. In the mid-eighteenth century, John Bush was a powder horn carver and soldier with the Massachusetts militia fighting with the British in the French and Indian War. Patrick H. Reason, Joshua Johnson, Scipio Moorhead were among the earliest known portrait artists, from the period of 1773–1887. Patronage by some white families allowed for private tutorship in special cases. Many of these sponsoring whites were abolitionists; the artists received more encouragement and were better able to support themselves in cities, of which there were more in the North and border states.
Harriet Powers was an African-American folk artist and quilt maker from rural Georgia, United States, born into slavery. Now nationally recognized for her quilts, she used traditional appliqué techniques to record local legends, Bible stories, astronomical events on her quilts. Only two of her late quilts have survived: Bible Quilt 1886 and Bible Quilt 1898, her quilts are considered among the finest examples of 19th-century Southern quilting. Like Powers, the women of Gee's Bend developed a distinctive and sophisticated quilting style based on traditional American quilts, but with a geometric simplicity. Although separated by geography, they have qualities reminiscent of Amish quilts and modern art; the women of Gee's Bend passed their skills and aesthetic down through at least six generations to the present. At one time scholars believed slaves sometimes utilized quilt blocks to alert other slaves about escape plans during the time of the Underground Railroad, but most historians do not agree.
Quilting remains alive as form of artistic expression in the African-American community. After the Civil War, it became acceptable for African American-created works to be exhibited in museums, artists produced works for this purpose; these were works in the European romantic and classical traditions of landscapes and portraits. Edward Mitchell Bannister, Henry Ossawa Tanner and Edmonia Lewis are the most notable of this time. Others include Nelson A. Primus and Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller; the goal of widespread recognition across racial boundaries was first eased within America's big cities, including Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, New Orleans. In these places, there were discriminatory limitations. Abroad, African Americans were much better received. In Europe — Paris, France — these artists could express much more freedom in experimentation and education concerning techniques outside traditional western art. Freedom of expression was much more prevalent in Paris as well as Munich and Rome to a lesser extent.
The Harlem Renaissance was one of the most notable movements in African-American art. Certain freedoms and ideas that were widespread in many parts of the world at the time had begun to spread into the artistic communities United States during the 1920s. During this period notable artists included Richmond Barthé, Aaron Douglas, Lawrence Harris, Palmer Hayden, William H. Johnson, Sargent Johnson, John T. Biggers, Earle Wilton Richardson, Malvin Gray Johnson, Archibald Motley, Augusta Savage, Hale Woodruff, photographer James Van Der Zee; the establishment of the Harmon Foundation by art patron William E. Harmon in 1922 sponsored many artists through its Harmon Award and annual exhibitions; as it did with many such endeavors, the 1929 Great Depression ended funding for the arts for a time. While the Harmon Foundation still existed in this period, its financial support toward artists ended; the Harmon Foundation, continued supporting artists until 1967 by mounting exhibitions and offering funding for developing artists such as Jacob Lawrence.
The US Treasury Department's Public Works of Art Project ineffectively attempted to provide support for artists in 1933. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration; the WPA provided for all American artists and proved helpful to African-American artists. Artists and writers both gained work. Among them were Jacob Lawrence and Richard Wright. Politics and social conditions all became the subjects of accepted art forms. Important
African-American names are an integral part of the traditions of the African-American community. While many Black Americans use names that are popular with wider American culture, a number of specific naming trends have emerged within African-American culture. Sources include French names, Arabic names and Muslim names, as well as other European and Biblical names, it is held that prior to the 1950s and 1960s, most African-American names resembled those used within European-American culture. Within the White-American population, most babies of that era were given a few common names, with children given nicknames to distinguish the various people with the same name, it was quite common for immigrants and cultural minorities to choose baby names or change their names to fit in within the wider American culture. This applied to both given surnames. Although most consider distinctively black names only a recent phenomenon, recent research by Cook et al. has documented the use of distinctive names by blacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The percentage of black people with such names was similar to that in the 21st century. However, those early names are no longer used by blacks. In fact, Paustian has argued that black names display the same themes and patterns as those in West Africa. With the rise of 1960s Civil Rights Movement, there was a dramatic rise in African-American names of various origins. San Diego State University professor Jean Twenge believes that the shift toward unique Black-American baby names is the result of the cultural shift in America that values individuality over conformity. In 2004, Fryer et al. examined the rapid change in naming practices in the early 1970s, with the rapid adoption of distinctively black names in low-income, racially isolated neighborhoods. They favor an explanatory model which attributes a change in black perceptions of their identity to the Black Power Movement. Lieberson and Mikelson of Harvard University analyzed black names, finding that the recent innovative naming practices follow American linguistic conventions if they are independent of organizations or institutions.
Many names of French origin entered the picture during the 1960s. Opinions on the origins of the French influence vary, but French names such as Monique, André, Antoine became so common within African-American culture that many Americans began to think of them as "Black names"; these names are seen with spelling variations such as Antwan or Shauntelle. The Afrocentrism movement that grew in popularity during the 1970s saw the advent of African names among African-Americans, as well as names imagined to be African sounding. Names such as Ashanti have African origins; the Black Power movement inspired many to show pride in their heritage. Harvard University sociologist Stanley Lieberson noted that in 1977, the name "Kizzy" rose in popularity following the use of the name in the book and television series Roots. By the 1970s and 1980s, it had become common within African-American culture to invent new names. Many of the invented names took elements from popular existing names. Prefixes such as La/Le, Da/De, Ra/Re, or Ja/Je and suffixes such as -ique/iqua, -isha, -ari, -aun/-awn are common, as well as inventive spellings for common names.
The book Baby Names Now: From Classic to Cool—The Very Last Word on First Names places the origins of "La" names in African-American culture in New Orleans. The name LaKeisha is considered American in origin but has elements drawn from both French and African roots. Other names—for example, LaTanisha, DeShawn, JaMarcus, DeAndre, Shaniqua—were created in the same way. Punctuation marks are seen more within African-American names than other American names, such as the names Mo'nique and D'Andre. In his dictionary of black names, Cenoura asserts that in the early 21st century, black names are "unique names that come from combinations of two or more names, names constructed with common prefixes and suffixes...'conjugated' with a formula..." "Da", "La", related sounds may originate from the French spoken in Louisiana. Attached to a common name such as Sean and spelled phonetically, one obtains "DaShawn". Diminutive suffixes from French and Scottish such as "ita" may be combined directly with prefixes or to a name, as is found in white naming or nicknaming.
Conventions followed make the persons gender identifiable. Following Spanish, masculine names end in "o", e.g. "Carmello," while feminine names end with "a", e.g. "Jeretta". Following Irish and Italian, apostrophes may be used, e.g. "D'Andre" and "Rene'e". Two names may be blended, e.g. "Raymond" and "Yvonne" might become "Rayvon". Islam has been an influence upon African-American names. Islamic names entered African-American culture with the rise of The Nation of Islam among Black Americans with its focus upon Black advocacy; the popular names Aisha and others are examples of names derived from Islam. A number of African-American celebrities began adopting Muslim names, including Muhammad Ali, who changed his name in 1964 from Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. Other celebrities adopting Muslim names include Amiri Baraka. Despite the Muslim origin of these names and the place of the Nation of Islam in the Civil Rights Movement, many Muslim names such as Jamal and Malik entered popular usage among Black Americans because they were fashionable, many Islamic names are now used by African Americans regardless of religion.
With the rise of created names, it is still common for African Americans to use biblical, historic, or European names. Daniel, Michael, David, J
Black History Month
Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, more has been observed unofficially in Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, it began as a way for remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated in February in the United States and Canada, while in Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom it is observed in October The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week"; this week was chosen because it coincided with the birthday of Abraham Lincoln on February 12 and of Frederick Douglass on February 14, both of which dates black communities had celebrated together since the late 19th century.
Negro History Week was the center of the equation. The thought-process behind the week was never recorded, but scholars acknowledge two reasons for its birth: recognition and importance. Woodson felt that at least one week would allow for the general movement to become something annually celebrated. After the ten year long haul to complete his "Journal of Negro History", he realized the subject deserved to resonate with a greater audience. From the event's initial phase, primary emphasis was placed on encouraging the coordinated teaching of the history of American blacks in the nation's public schools; the first Negro History Week was met with a lukewarm response, gaining the cooperation of the Departments of Education of the states of North Carolina and West Virginia as well as the city school administrations of Baltimore and Washington, D. C.. Despite this far from universal acceptance, the event was regarded by Woodson as "one of the most fortunate steps taken by the Association", plans for a repeat of the event on an annual basis continued apace.
At the time of Negro History Week's launch, Woodson contended that the teaching of black history was essential to ensure the physical and intellectual survival of the race within broader society: If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, it stands in danger of being exterminated. The American Indian left no continuous record, he did not appreciate the value of tradition. The Hebrew keenly appreciated the value of tradition. In spite of worldwide persecution, therefore, he is a great factor in our civilization. By 1929, The Journal of Negro History was able to note that with only two exceptions, officials with the State Departments of Educations of "every state with considerable Negro population" had made the event known to that state's teachers and distributed official literature associated with the event". Churches played a significant role in the distribution of literature in association with Negro History Week during this initial interval, with the mainstream and black press aiding in the publicity effort.
Negro History Week was met with enthusiastic response. Negro History Week grew in popularity throughout the following decades, with mayors across the United States endorsing it as a holiday. On February 21, 2016, 106-year Washington D. C. resident and school volunteer Virginia McLaurin visited the White House as part of Black History Month. When asked by the president why she was there, McLaurin said. A black wife, and I’m here to celebrate black history. That's what I'm here for." Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State one year from January 2, 1970 – February 28, 1970. Six years Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers, both great and small, when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month, during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial.
He urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history". Black History Month was first celebrated in the United Kingdom in 1987, it was organised through the leadership of Ghanaian analyst Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, who had served as a coordinator of special projects for the Greater London Council and created a collaboration to get it underway. It was first celebrated in London. In 1995, after a motion by politician Jean Augustine, representing the riding of Etobicoke—Lakeshore in Ontario, Canada's House of Commons recognized February as Black History Month and honored Black Canadians. In 2008, Senator Donald Oliver moved to have the Senate recognize Black History Month, unanimously approved. Ireland's Great Hunger Institute notes: “Black History Month Ireland was initiated in Cork in 2010; this location seems appropriate as, in the nineteenth century, the city was a leading center of abolition, the male and female anti-slavery societies welcomed a number of black abolitionists to lecture there, including Charles Lenox Remond and Frederick Douglass."
Universally, a reliable education system is one of the most important pillars of society. Among that pillar, the existence of Black History Month has been a topic of debate in the educational field. There's an annual debate about the continued