Dakar is pulling all of it’s resources together for a meetup inside of the 5th Annual UCLA PULSE Conference, February 8th.

Dakar wants to be a part of the resurgence of more activism in curating Black History, and this February marks our year-long effort to make Black History more relevant to all domestically and abroad. Everyone is racing to do that, and Dakar is working on emphasizing the history of civil rights, race relations and the history of slavery in a student-driven campaign to socialize and challenge them to know more about their past. One of our projects we’ll be sharing with the help of a group of students from Los Angeles is Victory By Valor, featuring the little known facts about iconic hall of fame athletes such as Arthur Ashe, Willie Mays, Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Jackie Robinson.

Multiple factors have made our efforts more compelling to millennials and generation Z to identify with facts and figures such as: as pop culture, film, television, and music. We hope our target student audience will become more energized in this seemingly polarizing racial times augmented by Donald Trumps administration in contrast to Barack Obama’s presidency, the 50th anniversaries of many civil-rights milestones, the Black Lives Matter movement, controversies over Confederate monuments, protests by NFL players and violent reaction in places such as Charlottesville, Virginia.

“The country is changing. It’s looking at itself in different ways than it has historically, and we believe pop up installations can engage a younger generation to lean-in on the timelines and perhaps contribute to them using trans-media to augment to  their own interpretation of this information to make meaning of their own experiences.”

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. This event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent.

Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Black History Month events  inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.  In the decades the followed, mayors of cities across the country began issuing yearly proclamations recognizing Negro History Week. By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the Civil Rights Movement and a growing awareness of black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.

President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.