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Celebration not about color

Our country has come a long way in the past 100 years, culminating with the election of President Barack Obama, the nation’s first black commander in chief.

And maybe the day will one day come when we don’t need to have Black History Month to recognize contributions and achievements by black Americans, but we aren’t there yet.

This recognition was first marked in 1926, the initiative of historian Carter G. Woodson. For his week-long event, Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass.

The rememberence was later expanded to all of February.

Nearly 85 years later, the importance of recognizing February as Black History Month hasn’t diminished, and it could be argued that it is more important than ever so we can all understand a facet of how our nation was built.

Truly, this month-long celebration is as much about American history as it is black history.

Area universities and organizations should be commended for their efforts to put together a variety of events promoting diversity and heritage.

Ohio University Southern, Shawnee State University, Ashland Community & Technical College and the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center are just a few that are hosting a variety of events too numerous to list here but all of which have been reported on in The Tribune.

These events are designed for the entertainment and education of people of all colors, regardless of the name of the month.