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NEW YORK—In 1915, Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). In 1926, the association, which “was dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent,” according to History.com, began sponsoring a national “Negro History Week.” Celebrated on the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, this week-long event grew into the Black History Month we now celebrate each and every February. President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month in 1976.
These days, Black History Month is a time to celebrate and honor Black history, as well as look forward to the future. Within the optical community, many independent ECPs and independent Black-owned brands are celebrating the month on social media. Here, we take a look at some of those celebrations.
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In 2019, both Nancey Harris and her friend Tracy Green lost their eyeglasses. After they finished kicking themselves for losing expensive designer frames, they committed to buying from a Black-owned business to replace them. The challenge was that Black eyewear designers were few and far between. Not only were there very few African American eyewear designers, but they weren’t seeing designs and prints that stood out or excited them. Then and there the two ladies decided they would create their own eyewear company: Vontélle Eyewear.