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Celebrating Black History Month: Honoring Legacies and Inspiring Futures

As February unfolds, we have an opportunity to celebrate Black History Month through reflection and education. This annual heritage month focuses on the resilience, achievements, and contributions of African Americans throughout history. Black History Month serves as a crucial reminder of the central role African Americans have had in the United States’ history, providing a platform to recognize the ways that Black individuals have shaped culture, sciences, politics, the arts, and society.

Black History Month, originally established as a week-long celebration in 1926 by historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson, has grown into a month-long commemoration. Throughout the month, institutions and individuals across the U.S. honor and promote the diverse narratives of African Americans who have helped and continue to help shape the nation. Through education and commemoration, Black History Month uplifts stories that have been overlooked and people of significance who have been marginalized. Each year’s celebration focuses on a different theme, with 2024 being all about African Americans and the Arts.

By learning about and acknowledging Black history in the U.S., we not only recognize and honor the past but also contribute to a more inclusive and equitable future. Here are 8 resources to explore during Black History Month:

  1. Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)

ASALH is the founding organization of Black History Month, taking the lead in the celebration and setting the guiding theme each year. Created and led for decades by Dr. Carter G. Woodson––known as the Father of Black History––ASALH offers virtual and in-person events, media, and programs which promote the study of Black life and history.

  1. The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)

A museum of the Smithsonian Institution, the NMAAHC offers an extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and educational resources that chronicle the African American experience. Both virtually and in-person, the museum provides a wealth of resources for this year’s theme of African Americans and the Arts.

  1. PBS Black Culture Connection

PBS offers a curated collection of documentaries, series, and films exploring Black history and culture. From historical films to contemporary stories, this resource is a place to celebrate Black experiences, learn Black history, and uplift Black voices.

  1. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute

Stanford University's King Institute preserves and promotes the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Although Dr. King is just one of many notable African American figures to highlight during Black History Month, this organization is the ultimate place to access an extensive catalog of King's speeches, writings, and other resources, fostering a deeper understanding of the Civil Rights Movement.


This website is a collaborative project by 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. serves as a collective space to find events, resources, exhibits and collections, lessons, and tributes honoring the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

  1. BlackPast

BlackPast is an online reference dedicated to providing reliable information on the history of Black people, particularly those in North America. BlackPast promotes education and understanding with the largest online encyclopedia on African American and Global African history, honoring the legacies of Black individuals across the world.

  1. Center for Racial Justice in Education

The Center for Racial Justice in Education’s mission is to train and empower educators to dismantle patterns of racism and injustice in schools and communities. In addition to all of the free teaching resources the center offers, they have developed a comprehensive Black History Month resource guide for educators and families.

  1. The National Museum of African Art (NMAfA)

A museum of the Smithsonian Institution, the NMAfA began as a private educational institution in 1964 to promote cross-cultural understanding in the social sciences and arts. The museum is focused on traditional, modern, and contemporary artworks, distinguishing itself as the first museum in the U.S. to include a sustained focus on modern and contemporary African art. The NMAfA offers many virtual resources for Black History Month 2024: African Americans and the Arts, including the ability to browse the art collection, activities for home, photographic archives, and video content.

Black History Month serves as a reminder that history is not just a narrative of the past, but a mosaic of stories, experiences, and triumphs that we can learn about and honor. By engaging with these Black History Month resources, you can actively contribute to a more inclusive understanding of our shared history and promote a more equitable future.