Sociology Tool: History of Black History Month

In 1915, Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and Minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). In 1926, this organization, which studied and promoted achievements by black Americans and people of African descent, started a campaign called the Negro History week that encouraged schools and communities in the U.S. to learn about and celebrate Black culture and history for one week.

It wasn’t until the late 1960’s when people (mainly college students) started to extend the event to one month. In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month and urged the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”