February is Black History Month
This year’s 2013 Black History Month theme is: “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington"
The Florida Department of Health’s (DOH) Office of Minority Health (OMH) has planned a month-long series of events to help educate and bring awareness to employees across the state and the Capital Circle Office Center (CCOC) about Black/African American history and culture. The study and recognition of Black history can be attributed to Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who initially launched Negro History Week in 1926 as a way to draw national attention to the contributions of Black people throughout American History. However, in 1976 with the 50th anniversary of Black History Week and the bicentennial of the country’s independence, Black History Week was expanded to Black History Month and continues to be celebrated every February across the United States.
The year 2013 marks two important anniversaries in the history of African Americans and the United States. On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation set the United States on the path of ending slavery.
In 1963, a century later, America once again stood at the crossroads. On August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of Americans, blacks and whites, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, marched to the memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, in the continuing pursuit of equality of citizenship and self-determination. It was on this occasion that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech. Just as the Emancipation Proclamation had recognized the coming end of slavery, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom announced that the days of legal segregation in the United States were numbered.