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Black History Month

In 1925, Historian Carter G. Woodson (founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History – ASNLH) created “Negro History Week” which was first celebrated in 1926 during the week in February that spans both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays. Woodson’s goal was to show African American’s important contributions to history, culture, and society as a whole. The event took off nation-wide with educators, clubs, people of all walks of life who celebrated and affirmed the need for such an event.

By 1950, mayors across the country were issuing proclamations in support of the week and in 1976, in honor of the nation’s bicentennial, the week-long celebration was expanded to a month. President Gerald R. Ford was the first to issue a proclamation marking the occasion and encouraged all Americans to “sieze the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” From 1976 to the present day, every US president has issued a proclamation each February in honor of Black History Month and Woodson’s association, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), works year-round to honor and advocate for Black history studies every month of the year.

Youth Recommended Reads

Teen & Adult Recommended Reads

Join the Explore Challenge on Beanstack for an interactive approach to our monthly book lists. Find great new books and earn prizes when you explore with RHPL.