Celebrate Black History Month with a New Patch Program
The History of Black History Month
Black History Month was created to celebrate and remember important people, accomplishments, and heritage. It was first thought of by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. Originally, it was only celebrated for one week and the focus was to teach Black history in public schools. Woodson titled it “Negro History Week.”
Woodson chose February to be the time of the celebration because Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were both born in February. These men played prominent roles in ending slavery in the United States. The Black United Students at Kent State University were the first to propose that we celebrate Black history for the whole month.
Black History Month has grown so much since Woodson first had the idea. Many other countries have also joined in and created their own celebrations including Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands.
The World Economic Forum sums it up well: “[Black History Month] it’s seen as a celebration of those who’ve impacted not just the country but the world with their activism and achievements. In the U.S., the month-long spotlight during February is an opportunity for people to engage with Black histories, go beyond discussions of racism and slavery, and highlight Black leaders and accomplishments.”
Each year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History designates a theme for Black History Month. For 2022, the theme is Black Health and Wellness. This theme recognizes the legacy of Black scholars and medical practitioners and also lends itself to acknowledging and diving deeper into the disparities in healthcare in Black communities.
GSUSA has a patch for girls and troops to commemorate Black History Month!
The Girl Scout Black History Month Celebration Patch is for Girl Scouts of all levels! There are three categories of activities: art, community traditions, and discovery. The activities allow for lots of girl creativity and research. One example of the activities is to make a music playlist featuring 12 Black artists, and another is to draw a map of Africa and label all the countries that comprise it.
This patch program is an incredible way to celebrate the cultural richness of African Americans and to acknowledge the many contributions that the Black community has made and continues to make across our nation.
Celebrate Black History Month with your troop. You can visit exhibits in Ohio that focus on Black history at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, the African American museum in Cleveland, and the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce.
Girl Scouts is honored to celebrate Black History Month and be an example for teaching young people about race.