Black History Month is the month-long commemoration of African American history and achievement. It has taken place each February in the United States since beginning in 1976. Every February, the U.S. honors the contributions and sacrifices of African Americans who have helped shape the nation. Black History Month celebrates the rich cultural heritage, triumphs and adversities that are an enduring part of our country’s history.
The idea for a Black History Month was first conceived by the historian Carter G. Woodson and members of his Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History). Together they organized a Negro History Week, beginning in February 1926. They selected the month of February for this celebration because it was close to the birthdays of the African American abolitionist Frederick Douglass and former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, who was responsible for the Emancipation Proclamation. During the next 50 years, Negro History Week grew in popularity, with American cities initiating their own celebrations of Black achievements and with teachers—particularly in schools with a large percentage of African American students—using class time to discuss contributions to history made by notable African Americans. In 1976, Negro History Week was expanded to become it’s now known name, Black History Month.
At the beginning of the 21st century, Black History Month was celebrated with a range of events at public schools, universities, and museums as well as within individual communities across the country. It was sponsored at the national level by such groups as the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Gallery of Art, the National Park Service, the Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“We must never forget that Black history is American history. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our nation’s greatness.”
– Yvette Clarke, U.S Representative of New York
In honor of Black History Month, Multicultural Programs has assembled a month full of events in celebration of the historical month:
Thursday Talk: Bag Life, 1st, MRC, 1:00 PM-2:00 PM
Join our graduate assistant to talk about the experiences of Black entrepreneurs.
Multicultural Love Panel, 6th, PSU 315, 5:00PM-6:30PM
Listen to our panelists discuss multicultural love and hear from couples of different identities and generations. Students, faculty, and staff are all welcome to join!
Hip/Hop/R&B Canvas Painting, 15th, PSU Food Court, 5:30PM-7:00PM
Take on the task of painting a one-of-a-kind masterpiece while enjoying and singing along to Hip-Hop and R&B music.
Movie Night with SAC, 16th, PSU Theatre, 7:00PM-9:00PM
Watch Bottoms with us, the LGBTQ+ friendly movie while enjoying free snacks!
Speaker Night with SAC, 20th, PSU Theatre, 7:00PM-8:00PM
Join us to hear from our Black History Month speaker. Stay tuned for SAC’s reveal of the mystery speaker!
Sneaker Ball, 23rd, PSU Ballroom, 7:00PM-10:00PM
Dress in your best formal attire and sneakers and attend the hip-hop sneaker ball!
All are welcome and we hope to see you there. Happy Black History Month!