Department of Defense Education Activity

Black History Month

2021 Black History Month

African-American/Black History Month is an annual celebration which recognizes the significant contributions of African-Americans throughout 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 currently 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.

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, U.S. presidents have issued proclamations to pay tribute to African Americans.

In recognition of African-American/Black History Month 2021, the ASALH selected “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity” as this year’s theme.  Of the black family, the ASALH says, “Its representation, identity, and diversity have been reverenced, stereotyped, and vilified from the days of slavery to our own time. The black family knows no single location, since family reunions and genetic-ancestry searches testify to the spread of family members across states, nations, and continents.”  

As an organization that advocates for education, DoDEA encourages you to further explore African-American heritage, DoDEA’s Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Initiative, and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) to expand your knowledge, and further enrich your story.