Celebrating Black History Month

Each year beginning on February 1, an entire month of events are planned nationwide honoring the contributions of African Americans.



Black History Month first originated as part of an initiative by writer and educator Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who launched Negro History Week in 1926. Woodson proclaimed that Negro History Week should always occur in the second week of February — between the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.


Beginning in the early 20th century, a growing number of black industrial leaders and black entrepreneurs emerged as families relocated from farms to cities, and from the South to the more industrialized Northeast and Midwest.


Along with the emergence of new music genres — like ragtime, blues, and jazz — the Harlem Renaissance in New York City also signaled a blossoming of the visual and literary arts.


Well into the century, blacks continued to break the color barrier in sports, business and politics, and have recently challenged the traditional bastions of wealth and power to gain popular support at the local, state, and national level.