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Black History Month: Introduction

Welcome to the Black History Month Resource Guide: In honor of February being Black History Month, we are highlighting a number of African American resources that are available through Scarborough Library, in addition to a variety of web resources.

A Look into Black History Month


This guide provides a starting point to learn about Black History Month which is celebrated annually during the month of February. This guide is intended as a non-exhaustive resource on contemporary and historic Black figures and their works, accomplishments, and histories. In it, we strive to recognize the intersectional nature of identity and hope to highlight voices and stories across a wide range of lived experience, while acknowledging and condemning the current and tragically persistent trend of anti-Black racism and violence in the United States.

The Shepherd University community is welcome to suggest resources, guides, or any other information relevant to this guide by contacting

2024 Theme

The theme selected for the 2024 African American History Month is "African Americans and the Arts." The ASALH states that "African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences. In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment. Artistic and cultural movements such as the New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, have been led by people of African descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world. In 2024, we examine the varied history and life of African American arts and artisans."


Origins of Black History Month

Nationally, February is recognized as Black History Month in the United States.  Dr. Carter Woodson is known as the "Father of Black History" because of his instrumental role in establishing Black History Month.

"Recognizing the dearth of information on the accomplishments of Blacks in 1915, Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).  Under Woodson’s pioneering leadership, the Association created research and publication outlets for Black scholars with the establishment of the Journal of Negro History (1916) and the Negro History Bulletin (1937), which garners a popular public appeal.  In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, this celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February, and today Black History Month garners support throughout the country as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the Black experience."

Source: Brown, Korey Boyers. "Carter G. Woodson."