Message From the Chair
NAWBO Celebrates Black History Month
To recall and celebrate the positive contributions to our nation made by people of African descent, American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week in 1926. For many years, the second week of February was set aside for this celebration to coincide with the birthdays of Black Abolitionist/Editor Frederick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month.
In honor of the history of African American women, the National Women's History Museum will host a CyberMuseum exhibit “Claiming Their Citizenship: African American Women From 1624-2009.” Dr. Ida E. Jones of the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University served as both author and curator of this exhibit. NWHM staff member Sydnee Winston supplied photo research assistance. Dr. Jones shares these observations, which have been excerpted from the Introduction to the exhibit and will be available online in mid February.
"The history of African American women is unique because these women occupy a nexus of two groups of marginalized people, women and African Americans. This unusual position has afforded these women a peculiar perspective on American citizenship in the areas of labor, politics, entertainment, academics, sports and religion to name a few. Beginning with the era of enslavement... black women have fought racism, sexism, classism and other obstacles in seeking to establish their humanity, womanhood and citizenship. Their story is a multi-layered tale of travail and triumph... Starting with Isabel in 1624 and climaxing with the United States of America's First Lady Michelle Obama 2008, African American women have contributed to the warp and woof of American history, culture and character."