WE WEAR BLACK

Wear black to celebrate Black History Month with the YMCA

The Y’s African American Resource Network (AARN) cast a vision in 2020, as a response to the societal awakening to systemic racism, imploring all Ys to become anti-racist, multicultural organizations that intentionally lead and boldly model diverse and inclusive cultures that impact and strengthen the foundations of our communities.

The AARN acknowledges the history of racism in the US which permeates every system including our organization. We acknowledge that in order to dismantle these systems of oppression we must work in solidarity against all forms of social inequality and oppression.

We invite you and your Y to join us for We Wear Black on Feb 26, to take a stand against injustice and racism in all forms.

We Wear Black to bring awareness to systemic racism and oppression of Black people in the United States and around the globe. Join us. Take a Stand.

WE WEAR BLACK
FEB. 26, 2021
Wear black, post your photo, and tag #[email protected]

Discover the Y’s Connection to Black History Month

Did you know that Black History Month has roots associated with the YMCA? In 1915, Carter G. Woodson, a University of Chicago alumnus, arrived in Chicago to attend a national celebration of the 50th anniversary of emancipation sponsored by the state of Illinois.

Inspired by this three-week celebration where thousands of African Americans had travelled from across the country to see exhibits that highlighted the progress of their people since the end of slavery, Woodson met at the Wabash Avenue YMCA in Chicago with a small group and formed the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). This began the foundation that would create Negro History and Literature Week, renamed Negro Achievement Week, later Negro History Week and eventually Black History Month.

Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson wanted the study of past black life to have significant impact stating, “We are going back to that beautiful history and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements.” It is important to note that the focus of Black History month has been on black achievements since enslavement in the US, however, Woodson’s intent was to explore modern black history as a starting point to deeper exploration beyond the arrival of enslaved Africans in the Americas.