Today marks the first day of Black History Month. We’ll be celebrating each and every day on IFWT! Get a little background on how this month came to be after the jump.

Marisa Mendez & IFWT

Black History Month is an observance of the history of the African diaspora in a number of countries outside of Africa. Since 1976, it is observed annually in the United States and Canada in February, while in the United Kingdom it is observed in October. In the U.S., Black History Month is also referred to as African-American History Month.

Black History Month was begun as Negro History Week by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926. His goal was to educate the American people about African-American history, focusing on African Americans’ cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements.