Department of Defense Education Activity

Black History Month

2020 Black History Month

African American/Black History Month is an annual observance aimed at recognizing the significant roles African Americans have contributed in our nation’s history, through their contributions in arts, entertainment, law, politics, sciences, sports and so much more.

The history of African American/Black History Month traces back to 1915, when the “Father of Black History Month,” Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which is now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Through their diligence and commitment to African American citizens, Dr. Woodson and the ASALH introduced the first Negro History Week in February 1926.

Additionally, February was chosen for this grand gesture of recognition to align with the birthdays of two celebrated supporters of African American citizens, Abraham Lincoln – the 16th President of the United States, and Frederick Douglass – an orator, writer, and abolitionist.

In 1976, President Gerald Ford issued the first African-American History Month proclamation, calling upon the Americans to celebrate this observance each February. Since that time, each of the nation’s presidents have issued proclamations to pay tribute to African Americans.

As an educational organization, we encourage you to browse the plethora of resources located on this page to expand your knowledge of African American/Black History Month. Also, for more information on this special observance, you may visit the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) website.