The History of Black History Month

What is Black History Month?

Dr. Carter G. Woodsen, was a Harvard Historian, who founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). He worked to ensure the many contributions of African Americans were recognized and not forgotten or ignored. In 1926 the ASALH began to formally highlight black history with a week-long celebration in February. The month of February was chosen, so the celebration could take place during a week that included the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. The response to the celebrations led to the creation of more Black History clubs and overwhelming demand for educational materials to share the history of African Americans. The weekly celebration became an integral part of the African American community and was recognized in many cities nationwide In 1976.

President Gerald Ford declared an annual observance at the federal level and the observance expanded to the entire month of February. 

There are many ways to learn about the history of African Americans in the United States and lots of great events available to participate. Join us this month as we learn together and share opportunities to celebrate.

Here are some great events you can join!

Click here to learn about Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow (virtual exhibit)

Click here to visit the National Museum of African-American History

Thank you to Christina Benavides, our Director of Programs and Operations that compiled these resources!

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