For as long as I can remember, the decision to dedicate the month of February to honoring the achievements of people from the African Diaspora has been met with mixed emotions.
Many people of African heritage asked, “Why are the achievements of our ancestors recognized for only one month out of twelve?” They went on to view this designation as insensitive and inconsistent when compared with the years this history was not taught or recognized.
For others, in February 1976, when former President Gerald Ford extended what was then known as African Heritage week to what would become African Heritage month, this was a major victory. The month-long celebration was embraced as an important way to recognize the significant contributions our ancestors made to America.
Throughout February, many remarkable Brooklyn institutions will host programs for African Heritage month. Brooklyn Legends applauds these efforts and receives them in the spirit of celebration. We embrace the position that the accomplishments of people from the African Diaspora and the Caribbean transcend time. This is especially true for the heroines you will read about here at Brooklyn Legends. They embody the grace, determination and hard work which will impact future generations
In honor of African Heritage month, we proudly salute Brooklyn’s phenomenal trailblazers such as Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm who represented New York’s 12th Congressional District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, Congresswoman Chisholm became the first African-American woman elected to Congress.
On January 25, 1972, she became the first major-party African-American candidate for President of the United States, and the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. We encourage you to enjoy the many celebrations planned throughout Brooklyn in honor of African Heritage month.