From Slavery to Freedom:
Celebrating Black History Month
How did Black History Month come
about? Harvard scholar Carter G.
Woodson established Negro History
Week in 1926 because he fervently wanted
to bring national awareness to the scores of
contributions blacks have made throughout
American history. Negro History Week was
celebrated in the second week of February
because it coincided with the birthdays of
Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass—
two of the most influential figures in the
lives of blacks. In 1976, the week expanded
to the entire month of February.
Woodson’s work is continued today
through the Association for the Study of
African-American Life and History
(ASALH), an organization he founded in
1915 to study and promote black history.
ASALH achieves its organizational mission
each year with designated themes for Black
History Month. The theme for 2007 is “From Slavery
to Freedom: Africans in the Americas.”
DiversityInc will celebrate Black History Month
throughout February with feature articles on
• Do We Need a Month for Black History? (Feb. 5)
• Teaching Students the Truth About Slavery (Feb. 12)
• 5 White People to Celebrate During Black History
Month (Feb. 19)
• Being Biracial During Black History Month–A
Personal Account (Feb. 26)
For more information on Black History Month, check
these resource sites:
The African American World—a guide through the
history and culture of black Americans.
The Study of African American Life and History
(ASALH)—highlights different themes of black history
month each year.
The African American Mosaic—a resource guide for
the study of black history and culture.
History.com - a feature on Black History Month
Black History.com—features articles about the history
and culture of African Americans.
Black History Month—Info Please—provides several
links and information about black history, issues
(such as affirmative action) and black holidays.
Census Bureau fact sheet on Black History Month
History of Black Military Service—provides information on service of blacks in different U.S. wars.
BY MICHELLE RILEY