Written by Samantha Lewis.
In February 1925, Black Americans held their first Negro History Week during the birthdays of Federick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. That moment lit a fire in the hearts of those passionate to celebrate Black history and advocates for equality, which led to the first celebration of Black History Month in 1926. It has helped all citizens of the United States to recognize the importance of how Black history has shaped America’s past and continues to shape America’s future.
The month-long observance is acknowledged by organizations, classrooms, government bodies and individual advocates as a period of reflection, respect and reverence. It is a vital task to bring attention to the contributions, struggles and victories of Black Americans throughout history so that they are never forgotten or erased ever again.
To celebrate Black History Month, UNCG’s University Libraries will host Beth Ann Koelsch, curator of the Women Veterans Historical Project (WVHP), as part of their Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Speaker Series. Koelsch will discuss how African-American women shaped the United States military and the American Red Cross. The event will be held via Zoom on February 22, 2022, from 12 Noon to 12:45 p.m. To attend, please visit https://go.uncg.edu/speakerseries.
The WVHP chronicles how women were involved in military and service related organizations since the beginning of World War 1. Founded in 1998, the WVHP maintains a vast collection of materials ranging from diaries, photographs, published works and more.