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Black History Month: African American History Month

Provides information about Black History Month and some notable African Americans from throughout history.

African American History Month, also known as Black History Month, is a month-long celebration of black history in America that has been officially recognized by the United States government every year since 1976. The early origins of African American History Month date back to the early 1900s when Carter G. Woodson formed the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Woodson had a desire to promote achievements in the black community and officially announced Negro History Week in February 1926 as a way to encourage celebration of black history. At the time, the black community already had a history of celebrating the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12th) and Frederick Douglass (February 14th), so he built his new celebration of African American history around those existing celebrations. Negro History Week proved to be very popular and an important reminder of the contributions that African Americans have made to American history. Eventually, citizens starting calling for a longer celebration to reflect the importance of African American history which led to the official proclamation of African American History Month in 1976. Now, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History plans a theme for each year's Black History Month celebration and promotes the study of black history all year long.

PBS Explains Black History Month

Kids Explain Black History Month

Books from our Collection

Click on the title of each book to be taken to our online catalog where you can place a hold with your library card.

Additional Resources

Check out the following websites for more information on African American History Month:

  • African American History Month
    The official government website for African American History Month. Provides links to exhibits and collections about African American history from government organizations such as the National Archives.
  • Association for the Study of African American Life and History
    A more detailed look at the origins of African American History Month from the organization that was involved in starting the celebration.
  • National Geographic Kids
    Provides an overview of how Black History Month was started and what it honors.
  • National Register of Historic Places
    Provides a list of places in the United States that are significant to African American history.
  • Telling All Americans' Stories
    Provides a list of people and places that are significant to African American history with links to learn more.
  • National Museum of African American History & Culture
    This museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and "is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture." You can explore some of the museum's exhibitions online.
  • Britannica Kids
    Provides a timeline of African American history with lists of notable African Americans from specific time periods, as well as topics of interest. A subscription is required to view the full text of the linked pages, but you can view the pictures and short videos about each person or topic.
  • Black Futures Month
    A new celebration started by the Black Lives Matter movement that focuses on the future of the African American community and involves a celebration of black arts and culture.
  • UDLibSearch
    Get access to online encyclopedias and databases that include articles, biographies, images, audio, and video files. Contact us at (302) 736-7030 to learn more about how to access this service.