Honoring African American History Month

The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey understands gambling from a multicultural perspective. If you attended our statewide conference back in September, that wouldn’t be a surprise to you. The 34th annual conference, appropriately titled, “Gambling From a Multicultural Perspective,” connected people of all backgrounds, and allowed a variety of individuals to share their research, experience and hope with one another.


With that being said, we’d like to discuss what lead to February becoming African American History Month:


Carter G. Woodson, a historian who spent time at Harvard, set forth to raise awareness of African Americans and their contributions to society. He founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) and launched Negro History Week back in 1925. The event’s first celebration was held in February 1926, which honored the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. This week became a success, and it was celebrated by people of all races and ethnicities. A quarter-century later, Negro History Week became an integral part of the movement that fought for African Americans’ rights in America.


In 1976, President Gerald Ford urged American citizens to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” This was the year that February officially became African American History Month. To this day, the now-named Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) promotes the study of African American study every month.


There are countless figures that moved mountains to advocate for African American rights. Here is a list of a few of most well-known ones:


  • Harriet Tubman – Harriet Tubman was a writer, spy and humanitarian who worked to abolish slavery during the Civil War.
  • Booker T. Washington – This courageous man was a political leader who spent time improving the working relationship between people of different races.
  • Rosa Parks – Rosa is considered “the first lady of civil rights.”
  • Malcolm X – Malcolm X was a leader of the “Black Power” movement who is/was known across the world.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. – MLK Jr. was a Baptist minister who led the Civil Rights movement. He is known for his famous speech, entitled “I Have a Dream.”


Neva Pryor, Executive Director at the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, had this to say: “There was an abundance of African American heroes who stood up for what they believe in and paved the way for people of today. America has come a long way with their efforts to end discrimination, and the process is ongoing. The CCGNJ team is comprised of a diverse staff, and we believe in unity. Our goal is to help people of all races, religions and creeds address their gambling problems. If you need help with a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER anytime. From dealing with casino gambling in Atlantic City to illegal sportsbooks and web wagering, we are only a phone call away.  CCGNJ is committed to having the conversation.”



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