Black History Fun Fact Friday – The Origins of Black History Month

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January 17th marked 3 years since I started Black History Fun Fact Friday! Our first Black History Fun Fact Friday took place on January 17, 2015. The post was on Ray Charles and received a whopping 4 likes (lol. Since that time, however, BHFFF has become one of the most popular segments of this blog.

Since we are one week away from Black History Month, I would like to take this time to republish the post on The Origins of Black History Month.

Here’s the post from last year (2015) on the origins of Black History Month. Enjoy!


Black History Month is around the corner. You know, the one time of the year that people are genuinely interested in Black History. Good thing you’ve got The PBS Blog, where we hit you up every week and all year around! Today, let us explore how Black History Month came to be.

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Have you ever wondered why Black History Month is in February? You’ve heard it (or maybe even said it) “Why its gotta be the shortest month of the year tho?” Yea, that was you. It was me too. Before we get into that, let’s start from the beginning.


It starts with Dr. Carter G. Woodson, famous for his book The Mis-Education of the Negro, a book I highly recommend that you read (if you haven’t already).

Known as The Father of Black History Month, Carter was one of the first African Americans to receive a doctorate from Harvard, and dedicated his career to the field of black history.

Carter G. Woodson, 1947. Carter G. Woodson Papers, Box II 28, Manuscripts Division.
Carter G. Woodson, 1947. Carter G. Woodson Papers, Box II 28, Manuscripts Division.

In 1915, Carter G. Woodson helped found the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (which later became the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History). The next year he established the Journal of Negro History and in 1921 formed the African-American-owned Associated Publishers Press. His goal was to center the contributions of African Americans. He wrote a dozen books, including but not limited to: A Century of Negro Migration (1918), The History of the Negro Church (1921), The Negro in Our History (1922) and The Mis-Education of the Negro (1933). The Mis-Education of the Negro is the most famous of these and is an often-recommended book by Historians and is also a book of study at Colleges. It centers on Blacks indoctrination into the American education system and touch on self-empowerment.

In 1926, Carter founded Black History Week. Black History Week eventually became Black History Month. It started as a program to encourage the study of Black History and was a week-long celebration in honor of Frederick Douglass (Born Feb. 14th) and Abraham Lincoln (Born Feb. 12th) and therefore Black History Month is in February.

The Abraham Lincoln thing is odd to me since he said that if he could have saved the Union without freeing any slaves he would have done it.

I didn’t make this up. You can Google it. Written during the Civil War, in one of Abraham Lincoln’s most famous letters to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, Lincoln wrote about his focus to save the union, not to free the enslaved. Written while the Emancipation lay in his desk, not yet proclaimed, this letter is where the infamous quote comes from:

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union.” – Abraham Lincoln, excerpt from

Letter addressed to Horace Greeley, Washington, August 22, 1862.
Source: The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler

In honor of these men, the program was held February of 1926 and was later expanded to an entire month as late as 1976.

And that, my people, is how Black History Month (the brief version) came to be.

Don’t Complain

I do not believe in colors. I believe in nations of people. I do not consider black and white to be nationalities set in motion by the creator but colors created by men. I believe that each human person belongs to a nation with land, laws, customs, and traditions to govern them. No one is black, white, or red. This doesn’t even make sense. Race was a concept developed by man to keep certain truths hidden. Racism, in short, is stupid considering we are all part of the human family. And, like you, I also do not believe that Black History is something that should be relegated to one month, (for me it’s a way of life) let alone the shortest month. However…

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…please stop complaining about why we shouldn’t celebrate “Black History Month”…

Black History Month is for those who (mainly) don’t know the truth. For those who do know, every day is a chance to share Black history. However, let us use February as an opportunity to awaken those who don’t know at a time where they are most interested to learn.

In the age of information where it is apparently “cool to be conscious,” people aren’t as “woke” as they think they are. That said, if Black History Month is an opportunity for us to share knowledge and to introduce something to people at a time where they would for once pay any attention, then we should do it. It has nothing to do with “celebrating black history month” but spreading the truth. If Black History Month helps people to understand who they are because their minds are open now by all means, take advantage of it and stop complaining. Okay, so the month is short. That just means you better pack as much information into these 28 days as you can.

*Steps off soapbox*

And now, for my favorite Carter G. Woodson Quote:

“When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his “proper place” and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.”

– Dr. Carter G. Woodson, “The Miseducation of the Negro”

The First “African” Slaves Arrive in Jamestown, Virginia, Aug. 20, 1619

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My messy desk…studying my history

“A Dutch ship carrying 20 Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, on Aug. 20, 1619, a voyage that would mark the beginning of slavery in the American colonies. The number of slaves continued to grow between the 17th and 18th centuries, as slave labor was used to help fuel the growing tobacco and cotton industries in the southern states. At the end of the Civil War in 1865, some 4 million slaves were set free. However, racial inequalities and violence toward newly freed slaves would persist in the country throughout the 1860s and 1870s.”

– Source, BET National News

“The arrival of the “20 and odd” African captives aboard a Dutch “man of war” ship on this day (August 20) in the year 1619 historically marks the early planting of the seeds of the American slave trade.” (Benjamin Banneker also challenged Slavery In Letter On This Day In 1791)

Source, Ioned Chandler, Newsone

“Today in 1619, it was reported by English tobacco farmer John Rolfe, husband of famed Indian princess Pocahontas, that “20 and odd” African slaves arrived at the Jamestown Settlement in British colonial North America aboard a Dutch man-of-war ship. The ship had originated in the Portuguese colonies of present-day Angola, which had been established in the 1500s. Angola was a heavy exporter of slaves to Brazil and the Spanish colonies.”

Source, Infobox

“Newly established English colonies in North America create a demand for laborers in the New World. At first, captured Africans are brought to the colonies as indentured servants. Once their term (3-7 years) is completed, indentured servants are allowed to live free, own land, and have indentured servants of their own. However, this system does not last long; indentured servitude gives way to lifetime slavery for Africans as the British colonies grow and the need for a permanent, inexpensive labor force increases”

Source, This Far by faith

“The Black Atlantic explores the truly global experiences that created the African American people. Beginning a full century before the first documented “20-and-odd” slaves arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, the episode portrays the earliest Africans, both slave and free, who arrived on the North American shores. Soon afterwards, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade would become a vast empire connecting three continents. Through stories of individuals caught in its web, like a 10-year-old girl named Priscilla who was transported from Sierra Leone to South Carolina in the mid-18th century, we trace the emergence of plantation slavery in the American South. The late 18th century saw a global explosion of freedom movements, and The Black Atlantic examines what that Era of Revolutions—American, French and Haitian—would mean for African Americans, and for slavery in America.”

Source, The Black Atlantic, episode one of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 

“In terms of African involvement, it is true also that Africans enslaved others before the coming and demands of the European. But three other facts must be added to this statement to give a holistic picture.. African enslavement was in no way like European enslavement. It was servitude which usually occurred “through conquest, capture in war or punishment for a crime” (Davidson, 1968:181). It could also resemble serfdom as in Medieval Europe where peasants were tied to the land and a lord for protection. They often lived as members of the family, married their masters daughters and rose to political and economic prominence and did not face the brutality and dehumanization which defined European chattel slavery.”

Source, Introduction to Black Studies, Ch. 4: The Holocaust of Enslavement

The PBS Blog on Amazon

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Next month will mark three years that I’ve been blogging. I am also dangerously close to the 2,000-subscription mark (8/18…I keep track of it because WordPress won’t remind me since I signed up with a different blog. It therefore only alerts me to that anniversary, not when I started  PBS but I digress, you didn’t need to know all that….).

To celebrate, I am trying out Amazon Kindle for blogs. This means that if you really enjoy this blog and would like to see it grow, even more, you can now support The PBS Blog with a paid subscription. (It’s only 99cents a month and your first 14 days are free). You can also rate this blog and review it.

The advantage is that my blog posts will be delivered to your Kindle device instead of you having to click through to the email. Additionally, you can access my content even when you are not online. You can now take The PBS Blog with you.

(Plus, I finally wrote the third Chapter of The Men with Blue Eyes which I’ll be sharing soon. I am thinking of turning it into a novella. Nothing big, just something fun to put out there. Showcase my Sci-Fi side. Who knows. I’ll let you know).

For those of you who have been subscribed and active with this blog for the past three years, you can help by leaving a review on Amazon. This is a unique and exciting experience as your reviews are specifically as it pertains to this blog and my writing on it. What do you love the most about The PBS Blog? Why do you stick around? Why do you share/reblog my posts on your social media? Why do you comment and stay engaged? There must be a reason and if there’s a reason, there’s a review in you!

Here’s the link.  Again, go ahead and drop a review for me!

https://www.amazon.com/The-PBS-Blog/dp/B0746P8SJL

(I am unusually excited about this…lol)

P.S. Hold your stones. This is something new I am trying for myself. It may work or it may not. In either event, I won’t recommend it until I’ve tried it. What you choose to do is your business. I’ll let you know if I have to unenroll. The program is still in Beta so I’ll leave it at that for now.


Yecheilyah is an Independent Author, poet, and blogger. Her latest Historical Fiction novel, Renaissance: The Nora White Story, is available now on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes. Learn more at yecheilyahysrayl. com

“Yecheilyah Ysrayl is a gifted story teller. I love the way she weaves history into the story line of Nora’s life as she finally escapes home and searches for her dreams. I also enjoyed the way her parent’s past interjected throughout, giving you hints of what has made Nora the young woman she is.”

– Deborah Ann

Beyond The Colored Line – A Year in Review

One year ago today, I published the second book in The Stella Trilogy, Beyond The Colored Line. I was shocked at the positive response I received from those who read it and the kinds of discussions it started. I hosted giveaways, book signings, and conducted an Interracial Interview series on this blog in which I interviewed couples in diverse relationships who still find themselves the victims of misunderstanding. I must say it seems more like a few years ago!  I’ve learned so much since then. Of course, there are lots of things I would have done differently with the knowledge I have now, but nonetheless BTCL still remains a favorite. And most importantly, still helping to expand the ongoing controversial subject that is race itself. I hope this book will live on through many generations and that my children will one day learn from this experience, as I did.

Author Yecheilyah Ysrayl used with permissionFeatured Image -- 481920160226_150037ReviewDSCN013120151207_114849 - Copy (2)DSCN014320160203_174649

My Favorite Review Quote:

“Move over To Kill a Mockingbird – the next best thing is here. If I had the power, I would put this book in the hands of every middle school child in America and let them truly understand what it means to be beyond the colored line. The thing is, the literary classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Huck Finn definitely bring up the issues of race, but they’re incredibly separated from what it’s portrayed as in today’s world. But this story, even though the setting went through the Great Depression and beyond, is still just as relevant. It is a concept of what it means to be of a race and how it affects us that still exists on every level, individually and socially. It is the name you put down on your resume. It is the cop that shoots. It is the indifference toward poverty and murder in non-white communities. It explains, in great detail and without fault, what white privilege is, and how it shows itself behind that line.”

– Anna Kopp

To learn more about Beyond The Colored Line, my blog buddy Colleen, host of the famous Writer’s Quote Wednesday weekly segment, did a special blog feature for me on the day of the debut last year. Check it out here.  You can check out the Interracial Blog Feature Here.

In the meantime, what kind of wine should I get tonight tho?

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My husband thinks my avatar is hilarious

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Agatha Christine: Special Anniversary Edition!

For today’s segment of Writer’s Quote Wednesday, I draw inspiration from Agatha Christine. But first.

Guess whose back???

When you see Colleen posting again
When you see Colleen posting again

LOL, I had to do it. Now, back to you Agatha:

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Other than being funny, I like the meaning behind this quote, which can vary but here is how I interpreted it:

Good books do not come from a focus on making money, being a best seller, or sitting down and saying to yourself “I’m going to write the best book ever.” The best inventions were not built from a desire for prestige or esteem; they were built because there was a need. Good writing does not come from a focus on writing; it comes from a focus on living. Inspiration to write is drawn by washing dishes, cooking meals, reading books, and watching movies. It can be the way the lady on the bus winked her eye at the man beside her. The way a little girl sang her favorite song or that one time your two year old stood up on his seat and yelled at the top of his lungs. They way your mother dips her hand in the flour before she bakes or the fact that your granddad has to have his Newspaper before breakfast each morning. These are all inspirations to write and all we have to do is pay attention. Everyone has a little of themselves in their writing. Characters are not made up of invisible people but many of their names and characteristics are derived from people you knew or know. What I’ve come to learn with writing and also with blogging, is that the success of either comes from simply being you and sharing that part of yourself with the world.

About the Author:

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Agatha Mary Christie was an English crime novelist, short story writer and playwright. She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best known for the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections that she wrote under her own name.

But wait, there’s more…Happy Anniversary Writer’s Quote Wednesday!

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And finally, in honor of Writer’s Quote Wednesday Anniversary and her Collabo. with Ronovan, Colleen has introduced a new badge!

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My One Year Blogiversary

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Many of you have probably noticed an extreme increase in the amount of re-posts from this blog, or re-spins. I have been doing this to lead up to this day or rather, yesterday: My One Year Blogiversary! I remember the exact date I published my first post here on The PBS Blog. It was August 18, 2014.

I have learned so much about the blogging experience and writing in general from this blog. Primarily, I believe I was capable of being progressive with this blog  in particular because I set out to devote more time to it. I pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. I subscribed to other blogs, commented on other blogs, shared other people’s material that I found interesting, and participated in writing Challenges and Blog Awards. I also publish very frequently, at least 2-3 times or more every day for at least 5 and sometimes 6 days a week and I have done this since the beginning. I don’t exactly consider myself a power blogger but I do believe that the quantity of my posting has played a big part in the growth of my blog. If I could at all help it, I tried not to miss more than a day without publishing something to my blog. A poem, an article, current events / news, etc., whatever I found to be of quality material or funny material or thought provoking, I shared. I set time aside specifically to blog. I treated this like a part time job and it has paid off. That is because I believe in consistency. I am a very dedicated and loyal individual and I transferred this over to my blog. I try to make sure that my blog is not one stale compilation of regurgitated ignorance and conscientious stupidity. I believe this draws people in and helps build solid supporters. All of these components together assists me in reaching my blogging goals which I must say, were not very clear in the beginning. I had a purpose, but I was not sure how I wanted to navigate the online world. In fact, I remember my first few posts, which got no likes, no comments, and no views for the first few months of blogging.

I hope that the future of this blog will continue to hold the same versatility in which I now strive for. It was not this way initially, but over time as I gained more understanding on how to blog, I unintentionally created a place where all people could get something out of it, despite where they were in their lives. In short, I hope that the contents of this blog will always be thought provoking and inspirational for positive change and growth.

In honor of my first year completion, I have decided to change my blogs theme up a bit. I’m still working on putting everything back since the new theme did away with the sidebar and pages (now located at the bottom).  I appreciate your patience as I rearrange everything.

But how does everything look so far? I’m going for a neat, clean feel. Yay or Nay? Keep it or Trade it?