During the month of February, as Americans remember the accomplishments and achievements of African Americans, the Minden Press-Herald will contribute to sponsoring the ideas held by local students as they observe African American History Month.
"In honor of African American History Month, the Minden Press-Herald is seeking short essays or poems from students in fourth through eighth grades and ninth through 12th grades," said Press-Herald Publisher Josh Beavers "We are looking forward to publishing the hard work of students in the area as we promote honoring the accomplishments of African Americans."
According to http: www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/, Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, hoped to raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) and announced Negro History Week in 1925.
The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
By the time of Woodson's death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. At mid–century, mayors of cities nationwide issued proclamations noting Negro History Week.
The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the same year as the nation's bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history."
That year, 50 years after the first celebration, the association held the first African American History Month. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations.
The association – now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) – continues to promote the study of Black history all year.
"Essays or poems should explain why this month of observance is important," Beavers said. "Students will have to write effectively to express their thoughts, but I'm confident there will be many students who can rise to the challenge."
Essays and poems are limited to 150 words and must be submitted by February 11.