Celebrating Black History Month

As we step into February, we are excited to celebrate and highlight Black History Month. This month-long tribute serves as a testament to the rich history, remarkable achievements, and enduring contributions of African Americans throughout history.

Black History Week was first established by Carter G Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History) in 1926. It was initially celebrated during the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass (February 14). Over the years, the observance gained popularity. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month. It has since evolved into an officially recognized month-long celebration. February provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on the resilience, achievements, and diverse cultural heritage of the African American community.

This year’s Black History Month theme “African Americans and the Arts”, highlights the influence African Americans have had in the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, language, film, music, and other forms of cultural expression. It explores how African American artists have used art as a source of empowerment and a means to preserve history. “African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and Black American lived experiences.

“In 2024, we examine the varied history and life of African American arts and artisans.” (ASLAH 2024 Statement on the Theme of Black History Month).

Discover exciting events honoring Black History Month at Mason!