Black History Month


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Home >> Research Services >> Research Services Blog >> Black History Month

February is Black History Month

It is clear that blacks have significantly impacted the development of the social, political, and economic structures of the United States and the world.  Credit for the evolving awareness of the true place of blacks in history, in large part, be bestowed on one man, Carter G. Woodson.

Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson (1875-1950) was the son of former slaves, and understood how important gaining a proper education is when striving to secure and make the most out of one’s divine right of freedom.

As a visionary, he saw the need to research and document the many outstanding contributions of African Americans and to pass knowledge and truth to future generations. In 1916, Woodson began publishing the Journal of Negro History. The journal, which is still being published, features writings on African American life and culture.

In 1920, Woodson organized the Associated Publishers to serve as a means for African American authors to have their writings published. In 1926, to bring further attention to the beauty, richness, and diversity of African American culture, Woodson created the celebration Negro History Week.  In 1976, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) changed the name of the celebration to Black History Month.

Black History Month Famous People (PDF)

Theme 2019

ASALH’s 2019 theme BLACK MIGRATIONS emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities.  While inclusive of earlier centuries, this theme focuses especially on the twentieth century through today.  Beginning in the early decades of the twentieth century, African American migration patterns included relocation from southern farms to southern cities; from the South to the Northeast, Midwest, and West; from the Caribbean to US cities as well as to migrant labor farms; and the emigration of noted African Americans to Africa and to European cities, such as Paris and London, after the end of World War I and World War II.

Asante, M. K, Mazama, A. (Eds.) (2005). Mitchell, Judylynn. In Encyclopedia of Black Studies. (p.120). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc.

Images in African and African-American Studies

ARTstor has important content related to African and African-American experiences, traditions, and cultural heritage, which are documented by images of cultural objects, art works, important events, and key historical figures.

Images of the Black in Western Art

Magnum Photos: Contemporary Photojournalism              

Eugene James Martin

Christopher Roy:  African Art and Field Photography

Herbert Cole:  African Art, Architecture, and Culture (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Search terms

 Abolitionist                 Kilimanjaro

Ashanti                        Martin Luther King

Bantu                           Kongo

Romare Bearden          Jacob Lawrence

Ray Charles                  NAACP

“Civil Rights”                Obama

Dowry                          Slavery

Desegregation              Harriet Tubman

Duke Ellington              Kara Walker

Harlem                         Yoruba

Hip Hop                       



More information related to African American life and culture is available via the Africana Studies research guide.


Black migrations
Black 365 Celebrating Black History Every Day

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