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Commemorating Black History

Barack Obama  (Photo credit  SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Barack Obama (Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - In 1915, on the 50th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Carter G. Woodson traveled to Washington DC to view exhibits highlighting progress since the end of slavery.

Woodson and a group of black intellectuals published the findings in 1916 when he founded The Journal of Negro History, drawing attention and culminating in Negro History Week.

February was chosen because of two prominent men whose birthdays fall in that month – President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, noted orator and writer for the abolitionist movement.

Since 1976, every president has proclaimed Black History Month and the leadership of African Americans has been widely noted: 11 CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies; Jackie Robinson’s breakthrough in baseball; Ralph Bunche, Martin Luther King, Jr. And Barack Obama, winners of the Nobel Peace prize; artist Henry Tanner and celebrated entertainers including, sadly, Whitney Houston.

Visit Black History Month on the Internet.