In celebration of Black History Month, we invite you to explore resources on African American history, check out our recommended reads by Black authors, join one of our book or film club discussions and more. We are proud to offer special virtual events this month, including an evening with poet David Mills on February 24.
Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in 1925. Alongside this, a week was established that would be used to raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization. First celebrated in February 1926, the week encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
By the time of Woodson's death in 1950, this week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate its importance. In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first celebration, the association held the first Black History Month.