Black History Month was created by the famous African American historian, Carter G. Woodson, in 1926. Originally known as “Negro History Month,” it was a response to what Woodson saw as a disturbing lack of Black history and narratives included in history curriculum—he wanted to encourage African Americans to rediscover their past that was intentionally forgotten or erased in mainstream history.
February cannot be the only month to engage with Black history—it is crucial that we learn about and celebrate Black history, stories, and narratives every day. However, Black History Month is an important time to acknowledge how much Black history has been excluded—both intentionally and accidentally—from mainstream culture and history. It is not a pigeonhole, but rather a time to elevate and reshare resources that help us engage with Black history all year long.
Weelunk strives to be a platform that uplifts and shares diverse and nuanced histories that are related to the Wheeling area. Continue to watch the Weelunk page for new articles by and about Black history and African American contributions to the Wheeling community. In the meantime, to kick-off Black History Month, Weelunk has compiled a list of resources to help you further explore African American history, stories, and narratives in Wheeling and West Virginia.
• @blackbygodwv: Black news to, from, and by West Virginians. This Instagram account shares historical photos of Black West Virginians
• @blackarchives.co: Brings a spotlight to Black experiences through historic photos
• @race_women: Honoring our earliest Black feminist foremothers through historic photos and histories
• @blackhistory: Black history through historical photos from around the world
Note: This is not a comprehensive list, but merely a starting point to exploring, discovering, and learning more Black history.
• Emma Wiley, originally from Falls Church, Virginia, was a former AmeriCorps member with Wheeling Heritage. Emma has a B.A. in history from Vassar College and is passionate about connecting communities, history, and social justice.