Black History Month

The celebration of black history began in 1926 with Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson. He believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His goal to raise the awareness of African-Americans’ contributions to American history, education, culture, science, and technology was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that included the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. 

After Woodson’s death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African-American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African-Americans about the importance of black history. In addition, the civil rights movement focused Americans of all races on the subject of the contributions of African-Americans to our history and culture. 

In 1976, during the nation’s bicentennial, the celebration was expanded to a week and President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” 

All year long, 3 million Catholics of African descent contribute to the spiritual, intellectual, and communal life of the Church. This month we honor their contributions to the Church as well.

The Black Catholic Ministry Commission would like to invite you to consider attending these events in honor of Black History Month:

[rokdownload menuitem=”61″ downloaditem=”227″ direct_download=”true”]Black History Month Activities[/rokdownload]  Note corrected date for Tuskegee Airmen event

U.S.Catholic has a number of articles about black Catholics on their Black History Month page. Please go to their website: