Celebrating Black History Month
February is the commemoration of African American or Black History Month. The annual theme for Black History month is determined by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. The theme for this year is "African Americans and the Arts."
What is the origin of Black History Month? This is the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Woodson was the first PhD graduate from Harvard whose parents were enslaved, and he had been a sharecropper early in his life.
In 1926, Woodson initiated the first "Negro History Week," on February 7, to celebrate and raise awareness of Black history. Woodson chose that week specifically because it covered the birthdays of Frederick Douglass (February 14) and Abraham Lincoln (February 12). In 1976 Woodson's organization, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, recommended that the commemoration become a month-long celebration and was renamed Black History Month. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
2024 Black History Month Events
- Selected Black Writers (selected by Allison Piazza at IHS Library)
- Selected Race and Racial Studies Books
- Selected Antiracism Books
- CAPS Mental Health Resources
Research Help & Resources
- Black History Month at the Libraries and Beyond
- The African Americans PBS Documentary
- Africana Studies Librarians at SHU – send us an email, or schedule a chat!
- New Primary Source Databases in Africana Studies (SHU-only access to African American Newspapers, Periodicals, and primary sources on Jim Crow, Reconstruction and Civil Rights)
- Africana Studies Research Guide
- Race & Racial Studies Research Guide