GUEST EDITORIAL: The history of Black America by James Stewart

As president of the Manasota branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, I am responding to a recent letter (“Black History Month provides education,” Oct. 31) disputing the need for a lynching memorial in the local community.

While the writer correctly identifies the name of the organization and its founding date, there are several misconceptions and inaccuracies that need to be addressed. What is now celebrated as Black History Month was inaugurated in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson to highlight the history and accomplishments of African Americans. However, his intent was not to restrict the examination of this topic to February.

Local branches, including the 350-member Manasota branch, were organized to encourage preservation of local records and artifacts. In addition, Woodson championed the dissemination of knowledge through a variety of initiatives, including school curricula.

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