Formal historical records and textbooks had largely excluded African American contributions to the nation’s history. Other pieces of media, like the famous film The Birth of a Nation (1915), had misrepresented Black history by relying on stereotypes or perpetuating a “Lost Cause” retelling of the Civil War, which sought to remember the Confederacy in a positive light. Among other things, the Lost Cause narrative argued that the war had little to do with enslavement.
Each form of popularized history had one thing in common: they told Black history without including Black people in the writing process.
Carter G. Woodson, the father of Black History Month, changed all that…
How Black History Month Got Started
With research support from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture and the Chicago History Museum In the early 20th century, Black Americans were fighting to tell their own story. Formal historical records and textbooks had largely excluded African American contributions to the nation’s history.