February is Black History Month and provides an opportunity to honor historic leaders, celebrate Black History and Culture, and raise awareness. Throughout this page we have collected resources on the history of Black History Month and ways to celebrate.
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History is credited with founding the annual celebration occurring every February. Check out their announcement of this year’s theme on Feb. 1 at 3 pm (PT).
HISTORY (from AfricanAmericanHistoryMonth.org):
In 1915, Carter G. Woodson’s dreamed of raising awareness of African American’s contributions to civilization and they became realized when the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The inaugural celebration was for a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.
The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford 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, fifty years after the first celebration, the association held the first African American History Month. By this time, the entire nation had come to recognize the importance of Black history in the drama of the American story. Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. And the association—now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)—continues to promote the study of Black history all year.
Association for the Study of African American Life and History
- History of Black History Month: https://asalh.org/about-us/origins-of-black-history-month/
- 2021 Black History Month Festival: https://asalh.org/the-asalh-2021-black-history-month-festival/
- 2021 Black History Month Theme – The Black Family: https://asalh.org/black-history-themes/
African American History Month – Hosted by The Library of Congress
- History: https://africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/about/
- Exhibits and Collections: https://africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/exhibits-and-collections/
- Events + Stories: https://africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/
Resources For the Family:
- PJ Library: https://pjlibrary.org/beyond-books/pjblog/february-2017/great-jewish-kid-s-books-for-black-history-month
- Seattle Public Library Topic Guide: https://seattle.bibliocommons.com/list/share/100083751/583638677
- National Geographic Kids: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/history/black-history-month/
- PBS Learning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f00AatzvxC0
- Jewish Multiracial Network: https://www.jewishmultiracialnetwork.org/
- Be’chol Lashon (GlobalJews.org): https://globaljews.org/