The History of Black History Month


Frederick Douglas, abolitionist

February is Black History Month, an annual celebration of African American culture, history, and achievements. It is a time dedicated to recognizing their central role in the history of the nation.

The event came to be back in September 1915, when historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization that sought to promote achievements by Black Americans and those of African descent.  

In 1926, the group sponsored a national Negro History week on the second week of February, coinciding with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, central figures in the abolishment movement. 

Following the civil rights movement in the 1960s, some celebrated black culture and history throughout the whole month of February rather than one week. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month. 

Since 1976, Black History Month has showcased a different aspect of black culture to be celebrated through a theme. The theme this year is “Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.”

Frederick Douglas, abolitionist