The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) announced the theme for Black History Month 2017 is “The Crisis in Black Education” focusing on the crucial role of education in the history of African Americans.
ASALH selected the theme to because of Black History Month founder founder and historian Carter G. Woodson’s understanding of the implications associated with the denial of access to knowledge, calling attention to the crisis that resulted from persistently imposed racial barriers to equal education.
The New York Amsterdam News celebrates Black History Month
Throughout February the New York Amsterdam News will be featuring articles about African Americans and education. Be sure to check out articles all month long in the “Black Experience” section of our website.
“If you teach the Negro that he has accomplished as much good as any other race he will aspire to equality and justice without regard to race,” Woodson once wrote.
Throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century and continuing today, the crisis in Black education has grown significantly in urban neighborhoods where public schools lack resources, endure overcrowding, exhibit a racial achievement gap, and confront policies that fail to deliver opportunities.
Specific highlights for this year’s theme include, the slaves’ endeavors to learn, the rise of Black colleges and universities after the Civil War, the Black history movement, the freedom schools of the 1960s and local community-based academic and mentorship programs that inspire achievement.
ASALH was founded in 1915 by Woodson. Under his leadership, the organization presented the first African-American History Celebration in 1926. The organization focuses on a specific theme each year.