In 1925, Negro History Week was conceived by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a historian and co-founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. During the second week of February in 1926, Negro History Week was officially celebrated as it was also the week of birthdays for Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Woodson’s intent was not for Black history to be viewed as a separate history, rather an influential part of the larger history of Americans. Years passed and Negro History Week became an important time in the lives of African Americans, and more Americans began to appreciate the celebration of Black history.
In 1970, Kent State University first observed Negro History Week for an entire month as Black History Month. Six years later, Black History Month was officially recognized in the nation’s bicentennial, by President Gerald Ford who encouraged Americans to take a moment to acknowledge the under-recognized “accomplishments of Black Americans in every endeavor throughout our history.” Today official government websites encourage us to celebrate Black History Month and to offer a “tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.”
For additional information related to Black History Month, visit: