Black History Reading Comprehension

Motivate English Language Arts learners with this free printable informational text for 3rd grade and up. Read and test reading comprehension online or print for offline use.

What is Black History Month?

The story of Black History Month began in 1915, 50 years after slavery was abolished in the United States.

In 1915, the historian Carter Woodson and the minister Jesse Moorland started the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), a group dedicated to recognizing the achievements of black Americans.

The group declared the first National Negro History Week in 1926. They chose the second week of February because that's when Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass had their birthdays.

In the years that followed, mayors of cities across the United States began recognizing Negro History Week. By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the Civil Rights Movement, Negro History Week became Black History Month on many college campuses.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month. He called upon the public to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans." Black History Month is also recognized in Canada and the United Kingdom.

There is some debate about dedicating a single month to the history of one race. Morgan Freeman, an African American actor and a critic of Black History Month, said: "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."

In what year was the first National Negro History Week?
1865
1915
1926
1926 Where was Black History first extended from a week to a month?
in Washington DC
in the south
on college campuses
on college campuses When was Black History Month officially recognized?
1926
1976
2008
1976 Black History Month is recognized in Canada and the United Kingdom.
True
False
It doesn't say in the story.
True Which president was the first to officially recognize Black History Month?
President Lincoln
President Gerald Ford
President Carter
President Gerald Ford Who first thought of National Negro History Week?
Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass
Carter Woodson and Jesse Moorland
President Gerald Ford
Carter Woodson and Jesse Moorland Why was February picked as Black History Month?
because both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass have birthdays in February
because Martin Luther King Jr. has his birthday in February
Both of these statements are true.
because both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass have birthdays in February Why do some people feel there shouldn't be a Black History month?
a week was the original length - a month is too long
Black history is American history and should be celebrated all year
Both of these statements are true.
because Black history is American history and should be celebrated all year

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