African American Firsts Politics

February is Black History Month

The roots of Black History Month can be traced back to black historian and journalist Carter G. Woodson helped found Negro History Week in 1926.

The event coincided with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass during the second week of February.

Honoring the contributions of black Americans expanded from black communities in the 1950s and 1960s to schools and city halls across the country, as teachers and mayors took part, too. The celebration was expanded to the entire month of February in 1976.

"Seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history," President Gerald R. Ford said at the time.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. opened in 2016 and is a popular destination during Black History Month.

Black History Month resources:

African-American History Month

Smithsonian Education – Black History Month

National Park Service – African-American Heritage

National Archives – African-American History Portal

National Park Service – Telling All Americans’ Stories: African-American Heritage

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum – Black History Month

Library of Congress - African-American History Month

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