Black History Month/Negro History Week, American designation of February as a time of emphasis on black history.

When historian Carter G. Woodson first conceived of the idea of a Negro History Week, he envisioned a celebration of black history and achievement as well as an educational medium. With the support of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, he organized the first annual celebration in 1926 to be held during the second week in February, in honor of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. The event grew in popularity, promoted by schools, women's clubs, and the white as well as black press. Negro History Week provided an opportunity for lectures, performances, written materials and photographs of black history to reach wide audiences. In the early 1970s, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (later the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) expanded the February celebration, renaming it Black History Month.

 

Contributed By:

Marian Aguiar