Black History Month honors the remarkable achievements of African Americans and their pivotal role in shaping American history.

It started as ‘Negro History Week’ thanks to historian Carter G. Woodson and other influential figures. Since 1976, every U.S. president designates February as Black History Month. Many countries, like Canada and the United Kingdom, also celebrate Black history.

Join in this February to explore events and resources highlighting the 2024 theme, ‘African Americans and the Arts,’ showcasing their profound impact on visual arts, music, and cultural movements.”

2024 Theme: African Americans and the Arts

Black History Month, born from Carter G. Woodson’s vision with ‘Negro History Week,’ aims to spotlight pivotal developments in Black history, not confine it. ASALH’s yearly themes reflect shifts in Black identity and societal influence. The 2024 theme, ‘African Americans and the Arts,’ explores the profound impact of Black culture on various artistic realms, from visual arts to music, literature, and more.

African American art, rooted in diverse experiences, has shaped global cultural trends through movements like the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movement. From sweetgrass baskets to blues music, literature, and visual arts by figures like Phillis Wheatley and Henry O. Tanner, Black creativity spans centuries.

The Black Renaissance and later Black Arts Movement brought international recognition to Black culture through artists like Langston Hughes and Alvin Ailey. Hip-hop emerged in the Bronx in the 1970s, evolving into a potent medium for social and political discourse, addressing issues like racial violence and economic disparity.

Afrofuturism envisions a liberated future for Black people, intersecting history, technology, and science in works by artists like Janelle Monáe and Octavia Butler. ASALH’s 98th Annual Black History Theme, ‘African Americans and the Arts,’ celebrates this rich heritage, spotlighting past achievements and anticipating future contributions in the arts.

If you’re looking for a place of authentic worship, this is a place of community, fellowship, and authenticity. We are here to worship in whatever way God is speaking. Music connects everyone. Everyone loves music.

Nadia Norman, 2024 president of the GWU Gospel Choir.

Black History Month Resources

Learn more about Black History Month – it’s origin and current theme.

As a black female, I take pride in representing—and even empowering—other females of color. Obstacles will always come, that never means you have to stop pursuing your dreams.

Gabby Bailey, Gardner-Webb’s 2023 Homecoming Queen

Upcoming Events

We have organized a range of events throughout the month, aimed at promoting active participation and contemplation of Black History Month.

February 1-28, 2024 (All Month)

African American Reading Month is a great time to discover the diverse literature that reflects the experiences, resilience, and creativity of the African-American community. You can explore a wide range of perspectives from classic works by great authors like Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Maya Angelou, to contemporary voices that are shaping the literary landscape. Reading allows you to connect with other cultures, fostering a deeper appreciation for the narratives that contribute to the vibrant mosaic of African-American culture.

Black History Spirit Week

Join us in celebrating Black History Spirit Week! This is a great opportunity to learn, share, and honor the extraordinary contributions of Black individuals throughout history. By doing so, we can foster unity, understanding, and a deep appreciation for the diverse narratives that have shaped our world.

We look forward to your presence at the Black History Month celebrations!

Black History Month was not just about the history of those who came before me but it was about me and my lived experiences. It was meant to be a celebration of Black culture and history not just a holiday about facts. I had been viewing it as a time of looking back on the people before me and not an active celebration of my lived experience as a Black person and celebrating the existence of my family, friends, and community. That is why Black History Month is important, because it is Black people still celebrating the continuation of Us, our stories, and our history.
— Brandon Richmond, 2023 Intern for University Communications
Lebron James, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Lamar Jackson, they are all people who broke down barriers and walls in sports and in spaces that probably weren’t meant for us when they first started. Being able to break down those barriers is really important. They should really be celebrated.
— Jha’Quan Anderson, graduate student and wrestler at Gardner-Webb University