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The Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library

Black History Month @ Taft: Home


Black History Month

An Annual Celebration of Achievements by African Americans

and Their Central Role in the History of the United States


Click here for a wealth of resources for BLACK HISTORY MONTH

The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

President Joseph R. Biden

A Proclamation on National Black History Month

January 31, 2024


Black History Month 2024 Celebrates the Arts and Artists that Enrich Us

"Each year, Black History Month brings another opportunity to discover contributions that enrich our nation. The 2024 theme, “African Americans and the Arts,” explores the creativity, resilience and innovation from a culture that has uplifted spirits and soothed souls in countless ways across centuries....
The creative impulses of Black and African American artists cannot be contained. Their impact is rooted in ancient cultures that spread around the world through the African diaspora and was carried by people who often arrived on our shores involuntarily. Yet, a people so strong, resilient and hopeful will still rise in the face of adversity. 
Black and African American cultural contributions are still being discovered and acknowledged.  We can find these contributions everywhere—from the visual and performing arts, literature, music and fashion to culinary creations and social movements."


Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency whose mission is helping people before, during and after disasters.


Black History Month has its origins in 1915 when historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History). Through this organization, Dr. Woodson initiated the first Negro History Week in February 1926.
In 1976, President Gerald Ford issued the first African-American History Month proclamation, calling upon the Americans to celebrate this observance each February. Since that time, U.S. presidents have issued proclamations to pay tribute to African Americans.
Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.
CARTER G. WOODSON - (1875-1950). Carter Godwin Woodson....
Dr. Woodson selected the week in February that included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two key figures in the history of Black Americans. 
Read more about Dr. Woodson here.



The 1619 Project 

The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.

BlackPast is dedicated to providing reliable information on the history of Black people across the globe, and especially in North America. Our goal is to promote greater understanding of our common human experience through knowledge of the diversity of the Black experience and the ubiquity of the global Black presence.

View on the library database Classroom Video on Demand


The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross (6 part series from PBS)

Written and presented by Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., director of W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University, this six-hour series explores the evolution of the African-American people, as well as the multiplicity of cultural institutions, political strategies, and religious and social perspectives they developed -- forging their own history, culture and society against unimaginable odds. 

Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1985 (14 part series from PBS)

The definitive story of the civil rights era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launched a movement that changed the fabric of American life, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today. Winner of numerous Emmy Awards, a George Foster Peabody Award, an International Documentary Award, and a Television Critics Association Award, Eyes on the Prize is the most critically acclaimed documentary on civil rights in America. 

For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots (University Edition) (6 part series from Eleventh Day Entertainment)

If prevalent and accepted accounts of American history—both scholarly and those portrayed by Hollywood—are to be believed, the face of the U.S. armed services has always been white. For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots finally, and for the first time, sets the record straight with an all-star cast who read from a collection of letters, diaries, speeches, and military records that document and acknowledge the sacrifices and accomplishments of African-Americans across four centuries of warfare. 

Facts about the U.S. Black Population 

This fact sheet from the Pew Research Center is a profile of the demographic, geographic and economic characteristics of the U.S. Black population in 2019. 


Additional reports from the Pew Research Center,



For Black History Month,

a look at what Black Americans say is needed to overcome racial inequality

A Pew Research Center report by Jens Manuel Krogstad and Kiana Cox (January 20, 2023)

Black Americans have long articulated a clear vision for the kind of social change that would improve their lives. Here are key findings from Pew Research Center surveys that explore Black Americans’ views about how to overcome racial inequality.