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In-Depth: Celebrating Black History Month in central Kentucky

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Posted at 11:54 AM, Feb 01, 2022

(LEX 18) — February is Black History Month.

Lexington Parks & Rec is celebrating Black culture and history throughout February by highlighting important parks and community centers within the city.

Each week, a different park or community center in Lexington will be featured on social media with history, quotes, and historic photos. There are also events scheduled throughout the month.

  • Jan. 30 - Feb. 5: Dunbar Community Center, named after poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, will be featured.
  • Feb. 6 – 12: Martin Luther King Park, named after civil rights activist and minister Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Feb. 13 – 19: Douglass Park, named after abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
  • Feb. 20 – 26: Artworks at the Carver School, named after scientist George Washington Carver.
    • Feb. 26: The center will host a free Black History Screen Printing Workshop where the public is invited to make prints featuring quotes from prominent black Kentucky authors. Neighborhoods kids around community centers will have transportation provided to participate in a private workshop the day before.
  • Feb. 27 – March 5: William Wells Brown Community Center, named after author and Lexingtonian William Wells Brown.

To follow along and find out more, follow @LexKYParks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Residents are encouraged to visit the “Exposure” art exhibit at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center throughout February. The exhibit is a celebration of a diverse group of photographers of color in and around The Bluegrass. Admission to the exhibit is free.

During Black History Month, Kentucky State Police will highlight the transformational work African American employees accomplish across the commonwealth by sharing their stories and celebrating their heritage. These stories will be shared via KSP’s social media platforms throughout February.

Black History Month's inception began in 1915. Historian Carter G. Woodson thought of the idea as a response to the lack of information and accomplishments of black people.

In 1926, Woodson declared the second week of February as "Negro History Week." Every U.S. president since Gerald Ford in 1976 has recognized the entire month of February as Black History Month, according to the association for the study of African American life and history.

On Monday, President Joe Biden marked the start of Black History Month with an official White House proclamation.

Carter G. Woodson has strong ties to Kentucky. The author, journalist, and historian graduated from Berea College in 1897. The college says he took classes part-time for a few years before graduating with a bachelor of literature degree in 1903.

Woodson is honored on Berea's campus through the creation of the Carter G. Woodson Center for interracial education.

A recently developed Fayette County Public Schools program is named after Woodson. The Carter G. Woodson Academy provides an advanced and rigorous curriculum that meets the new common core standards through the lens of African-American history, culture, and culturally responsive teaching and learning strategies.