February is National Black History Month

Martin Luther King, Jr

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program’s February 2020 newsletter:

In February, we celebrate National Black History Month, to recognize and honor the experience and achievements of Black Americans. Each year the Association for the Study of African American Life and Heritage designates a theme for Black History Month. This year’s theme is “African Americans and the Vote” to mark the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment which established the right of women to vote, as well as the 150th anniversary of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870 which technically gave Black men the right to vote. In actuality, African Americans living in the South were almost entirely disenfranchised due to the passage of laws that erected barriers to voting, from poll taxes to literacy tests. You can read more about the prolonged struggle for African American voting rights that continued through the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and beyond.

Here are some additional ways to commemorate Black History Month:

With so much to learn, honor, and remember, we invite you to celebrate black history and culture all year-round.