The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by Black Americans and other peoples of African descent.
Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.
We celebrate Black history because Black history is American history. The full story of the African American experience has long been ignored, forgotten and even actively suppressed, denying all Americans a critical understanding of our national heritage. This is why we bring Black History Month to the Tri-City Area every year.