History of Black History Month

Back to Article
Back to Article

History of Black History Month

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Black History Month began as a way of remembering important African-Americans and events in history.

Carter G. Woodson believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His hope to raise awareness of African-American’s contributions to civilization was realized when he and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History week in 1925. Following Woodson’s death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration.

The first time this event was celebrated was during a week in February 1926, that encompassed the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.  The Black Awakening of the 1960’s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of Black History, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all color on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture. President Gerald R. Ford expanded this celebration to a month in 1976, to urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, 50 years after the first celebration, the association held the first Black History Month.

A few reasons we celebrate Black History month is to honor the historic leaders of the black community, to help us to be better stewards of the privileges we have gained, to provide us with opportunities  to highlight the best of Black History and culture and to create awareness for all people and remind us that Black History is our history.