The Story Behind Black History Month

February 8, 2022 (Courtesy NYAPRS Cultural Competence Committee)

NYAPRS Note: The following piece comes to us from the NYAPRS Cultural Competence Committee. Please join the Committee to aid its efforts in promoting racial equity, criminal justice reform, anti-racism transformation efforts by community behavioral health organizations, countering discrimination and celebrating diversity. The Committee meets the 3rd Thursday of every month. Contact Eileen at to join us!

Here’s The Story Behind Black History Month — And Why It’s Celebrated in February By Jonathan Franklin NPR (February 1, 2022)

Every February, the U.S. honors the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who have helped shape the nation. Black History Month celebrates the rich cultural heritage, triumphs and adversities that are an indelible part of our country’s history.

This year’s theme, Black Health and Wellness, pays homage to medical scholars and health care providers. The theme is especially timely as we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected minority communities and placed unique burdens on Black health care professionals.

“There is no American history without African American history,” said Sara Clarke Kaplan, executive director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University in Washington, D.C. The Black experience, she said, is embedded in “everything we think of as ‘American history.’ “

First, there was Negro History Week

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