In 1969, educators and students at Kent State first proposed Black History Month to highlight the accomplishments of African Americans. Just a year later in 1970, the very first celebration occurred on the campus from January 2nd to February 28th.
Fast forward six years later to 1976 as President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month during the United States Bicentennial. Ford, the 38th U.S. President urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”.
During that time, Black History Month was being celebrated across the nation in the Black community. The enthusiastic response prompted the creation of Black history clubs, an increase in interest among teachers and interest from whites.