Black Employment Program

 

 

 

About National African American History Month

 

Each February is designated as African American History Month or Black History Month in the United States to commemorate the rich and varied contributions of African Americans to the culture and history of the United States and the world.

 

In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard Ph.D. who 11 years earlier had founded the Association for the Study of Afro- American Life and History, initiated Negro History Week. In those early days, the words Afro and Black were seldom used. It was Dr. Woodson's hope that through this special observance, all Americans would be reminded of their ethnic roots, and that togetherness in the United States' racial groups would develop out of a mutual respect. Dr. Woodson chose for Negro History Week the period of February which contains the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. From its initiation, observance of Afro-American History Month has involved many ethnic groups, not only Black Americans. This event evolved into the establishment in 1976 of February as "Black History Month." This commemoration is also referred to as "African American History Month."

 

 

 

Office of Civil Rights (OCR)
U.S. Department of Commerce

Send questions and comments about this page to cbartolomei@doc.gov
Page last updatedJanuary 23, 2014