American historian Carter G. Woodson established Black History Week (then called “Negro History Week”) nearly a century ago to spotlight the accomplishments of African Americans. It was first celebrated during the second week of February in 1926 to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass (February 14). In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, the week was expanded to a month. Since then, U.S. presidents have proclaimed February as National African American History Month.
Discover more about this observance by downloading our new African American (Black) History Month Fun Facts handout for students. Then, view the teaching guide filled with cool activity ideas for every grade level.