Black History Month

February is Black History Month, an annual observance originating in the United States. It began as a celebration of the contributions African Americans have made to this country and a time to reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice.

This Month in Colorado History

Black History Month is a time to honor the contributions and legacy of African Americans across U.S. history and society, but it is also a vital opportunity to examine and reflect upon the very mechanics of American history as a whole. We must go beyond the history books to truly dissect what we have been taught about American black history and why.

During Black History Month we celebrate the stories of many men and women who made a difference. While some achievements are noted more than others, all of their stories reveal how they changed the world, and how we can, too.

An excerpt from The Moby Riot: CSU Protested More Than BYU in 1970 by Matt L. Stephens, originally posted in The Coloradoan

“Within a span of 15 minutes, a Molotov cocktail ignited on the floor of Moby Gym, a Fort Collins police officer was assaulted with a piece of metal, patrol cars were broken into and a Rocky Mountain News photographer was hospitalized, all due to the actions of the Black Student Alliance. Or so the the era’s reporting states.

Overlooked was the fact that the seven people arrested that day were white.

In the 45 years since, those 15 minutes of Fort Collins history have been relegated to a few sentences in a book.

And though many who were there remember the account differently, all agree it’s a forgotten piece of history. Through interviews with some of the key figures and research of past media coverage, the Coloradoan retells the story, this time with 45 years of civil rights history and perspective.”

Read the rest to learn more about what really happened in The Coloradoan!

This Month in National History

In honor of Black History Month, we celebrate the 1977 appointment of John Lewis as the head of the national voluntary program ACTION, created in 1971 by President Richard Nixon. ACTION was merged with another program in 1993, Commission on National and Community Service and was known as the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Recently, CNCS was rebranded with AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors. Appointed by by President Jimmy Carter, John Lewis was a public servant, an American politician and civil rights activist who served in the United States House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th congressional district from 1987 until his death in 2020. 

Events and Activities

  • How to Celebrate Black History Month 2023 in Denver: Click Here
  • A Month of Heritage and History! Join the Smithsonian online for vibrant performances, lectures, and family activities that celebrate our nation’s rich cultural heritage and history. Click Here for the events calendar.
  • 20 Great Movies for families with kids: Click Here
  • 29 Days of Crafts: Click Here for 29 craft ideas for kids to learn about important figures in black history.
  • 31 Little-Known Black History Facts You May Not Have Learned in School
  • Volunteer! Black History Month is a great opportunity to reflect on what values and actions are important to you. Donating your time and talents to nonprofits that reflect and nurture those values in your community is a great way to make an impact.

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