Celebrating Black History Month has become a significant way to promote representation and celebrate blackness.
The month of February is important in creating awareness of the gorgeous Black skin and all the culture comes with.
The Origin of Black History Month
In 1926, Black people in America celebrated Negro History Week for the first time. It occurred in February and was organized by Carter G. Woodson. He was a historian who studied in Harvard and quickly gained the name “Father of Black History”.
Black students and educators from Kent State University proposed to spread the idea into a whole month. This was in 1970.
Since then, Black History Month has been designated for February. It is observed as a way to honor the fight for freedom through activism by numerous known names.
The African dress has been attributed to the Dashiki pattern. However, the dashiki does not originate from Africa. Two factories originally produced the print; an English wax company that relocated to Ghana and another in the Netherlands. In 1867, the factories found a market in West Africa. This popularized the fabric in Africa.
The dashiki print involves industrialized versions of wax prints. They were drawn, blocked and dyed by hand before technology came in to refine the process.
African Prints are worn in America as a symbol of pride. It has gained popularity and is even being used on global stages by designers.
The debate on the professionalism of African hair is a common one in the US. This has led to the birth of the Crown Act, which discourages discrimination of African Hair. The Act is already a law in some US states, with some governments still debating on it.
African Hair is naturally curly and has been the subject of discrimination for years. It is refreshing to see acceptance of it, even in small bits.
African American designers have embraced their culture in recent years. The African print and natural hairstyles have been seen on the runway more in the last decade than in centuries. This shows progress and needs to be built on. Observing Black History Month helps bring the importance of Black culture and lifestyle. It encourages acceptance and should be celebrated.