Heritage and Identity

African American/Black Heritage

As a Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, like W. E. B. Du Bois before him, believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His hopes to raise awareness of African American’s contributions to civilization was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort. Read more at blackhistorymonth.gov.

Arab American Heritage

During the month of April, the Arab America Foundation formally recognizes the achievements of Arab Americans through the celebration of National Arab American Heritage Month (NAAHM). Across the country, cultural institutions, school districts, municipalities, state legislatures, public servants, and non-profit organizations issue proclamations and engage in special events that celebrate our community’s rich heritage and numerous contributions to society.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

Hispanic/Latino Heritage

National Hispanic American Heritage Month, also known as Hispanic Heritage Month, has been observed from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as a national holiday since 1988. We continue to honor and recognize the important contributions, diverse cultures and inseparable history of individuals whose lineage is connected to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.  

Jewish American Heritage

May is Jewish American Heritage Month – On April 20, 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed that May would be Jewish American Heritage Month. The announcement was the crowning achievement in an effort by the Jewish Museum of Florida and South Florida Jewish community leaders that resulted in resolutions introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania urging the president to proclaim a month that would recognize the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. The resolutions passed unanimously, first in the House of Representatives in December 2005 and later in the Senate in February 2006.

LGBTQ Pride

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month. This month-long celebration demonstrates how LGBTQ Americans have strengthened our country, by using their talent and creativity to help create awareness and goodwill. The first Pride March in New York City was held on June 28, 1970, on the one year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

Native American Heritage

Since 1990, Congress has authorized an annual presidential proclamation that designates November as National American Indian Heritage Month, also known as Native American Heritage Month, to encourage everyone to learn about the contributions and cultures of the indigenous peoples of the North American continent. Such recognition, however, dates back further with state and organizational recognition of indigenous peoples days and commemorations occurring at the turn of the 20th century. 

Women’s History

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as “Women’s History Week.” In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Learn more and start your own conversation.

 
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