The origins of Black History Month can be traced back to September 1915, a pivotal moment when the Harvard-trained historian and distinguished minister, Carter G. Woodson, along with Jesse E. Moorland, laid the foundation for what would become the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). ASALH, from its inception, has committed itself to the comprehensive exploration and promotion of the achievements of Black Americans and individuals of African descent.
Initially, the celebration of these accomplishments was earmarked for the second week of February, deliberately chosen to coincide with the birthdays of two influential figures in American history, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. However, as the years progressed, the commemoration evolved, expanding from a week to encompass the entirety of February. The significant recognition of Black History Month was officially established in 1976.
In the year 2024, the thematic focus is on "African Americans and the Arts." This carefully chosen theme seeks to pay homage to the profound impact that Black Americans have had on various realms of the arts, including visual arts, music, and broader cultural movements. It serves as a poignant reminder of the rich and diverse contributions that have shaped the cultural landscape of the United States and beyond.