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Black History Month: Getting Started

A guide to library and open web resources on Black History Month and African American culture.

February is Black History Month

Every year in February, the United States observes Black History Month.  The first 'Negro History Week' was established in 1925 by Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH).  In 1976, President Ford expanded the celebration to a month long observance, urging Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” 

In the 2022 Proclamation on National Black History Month, President Biden marked the start of Black History month--"Each February, National Black History Month serves as both a celebration and a powerful reminder that Black history is American history, Black culture is American culture, and Black stories are essential to the ongoing story of America — our faults, our struggles, our progress, and our aspirations.  Shining a light on Black history today is as important to understanding ourselves and growing stronger as a Nation as it has ever been.  That is why it is essential that we take time to celebrate the immeasurable contributions of Black Americans, honor the legacies and achievements of generations past, reckon with centuries of injustice, and confront those injustices that still fester today."

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