Black History Month (also known as African-American History Month) is celebrated from February 1 to March 1 in the United States and Canada. Black History Month manifested from Negro History Week, championed by Carter G. Woodson, which began in 1926 during the second week of February. In 1976, Gerald Ford was the first president to officially recognize Black History Month, which continues today.
The month was established to highlight the contributions of African-Americans, as well as Black history and plights experienced by the African-American community. This also presents an opportunity for non-Black persons to learn about Black culture, recognize the shortcomings related to equity, equality and recognition of the rights and humanity of Black people, and engage in dialogue, advocacy, and self-reflection.
Learn more about some notable contributors to Black excellence, such as Carter G. Woodson, Maya Angelou, Ruby Bridges, Medgar Evers, Mary McLeod Bethune, Angela Davis, Jesse Jackson, Henrietta Lacks, John Lewis, and James Baldwin. New names are emerging during current times of social justice reform, like S. Lee Merritt, Ibram X. Kendi, Ijeoma Olou, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Rachel Cargle, and Stacey Abrams.
“The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity” is the theme for Black History Month 2021. Check out ongoing programming from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, Association for the Study of African American Life and History [ASALH] (graphic below), and NOVA’s Student Life (graphic below) happening this month!
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Black History Month, History.com editors, https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month
African-American History Month, Library of Congress, https://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/