African-American History Month

Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012

It is well known that February is African-American History Month, but do you know the origin of the celebration?

African-American History month began as Negro History Week. It was founded the mid-1920s by Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard trained historian. It was not until the 1970s that the week long celebration evolved into Black History Month. The month of February was chosen because Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln have birthdays this month.

In 1986 Congress passed a public law, which designated February as “National Black (Afro-American) History Month.” A proclamation by President Clinton in January 1996 changed the holiday’s name to “National African-American History Month.”

Visit the law library lobby to see a display of some of the interesting African-American history resources available at the library.

For more information about the evolution of African-American History Month, please visit the Library of Congress website.