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Resources for information and research for Black History Month

Black History Month

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The 2024 theme is "African Americans and the Arts" spanning the many impacts Black Americans have had on visual arts, music, and cultural movements

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their role in U.S. history.  Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

February was chosen primarily because the second week of the month coincides with the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass. Abraham Lincoln was influential in the emancipation of slaves, and Douglass, a former slave, was a prominent leader in the abolitionist movement, which fought to end slavery.

Events National

Events Local

Creation of Black History Month

The story of Black History Month begins in Chicago during the summer of 1915. An alumnus of the University of Chicago with many friends in the city, Carter G. Woodson traveled from Washington, D.C. to participate in a national celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of emancipation sponsored by the state of Illinois. Thousands of African Americans travelled from across the country to see exhibits highlighting the progress their people had made since the destruction of slavery. Inspired by the three-week celebration, Woodson decided to form an organization to promote the scientific study of black life and history. On September 9th, Woodson met at the Wabash YMCA with A. L. Jackson and three others and formed the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Excerpt from Daryl Michael Scott ASALH Former National President Origins of Black History Month

Woodson envisioned a weeklong celebration to encourage the coordinated teaching of Black history in public schools. He designated the second week of February as Negro History Week and galvanized fellow historians through the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which he founded in 1915. (ASNLH later became ASALH.)
The idea eventually grew in acceptance, and by the late 1960s, Negro History Week had evolved into what is now known as Black History Month. Fifty years after the first celebrations, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month during the country's 1976 bicentennial. Ford called upon Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history,"
Excerpt from npr.org Black History Month 2022