Black History Month

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, occurs every February. It celebrates the achievements by black Americans and recognizes the central role of African Americans in the U.S.

Black History Month originated as Negro History Week. It was conceived by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), the organization he founded. Woodson and the ASNLH hoped to raise awareness of African American contributions to civilization. They began visualizing the idea in 1925 and the first celebration was in February 1926, a week that had the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. They were met with overwhelming positive response. By the mid-20th century, many city mayors across the U.S. issued proclamations celebrating the week.

In 1976, the celebration was expanded to a month. 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.” Since then each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

The original association that created Negro History Week, now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), continues to promote the study of Black history all year.

The University of Oregon celebrates Black History Month each year with a wide variety of events that celebrate, honor and highlight the work and culture of black Americans.

Black History Month 2018






Last Year's 2017 Events

Art Exhibit: You Must Never Look Away From This

All Month | Lawrence Hall 200 (A&AA Library)

2017 Ruhl Lecture featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates

Friday, February 3 | 6:00pm | Matthew Knight Arena

Derrick Bell Lecture featuring Barbara R. Arnwine

Tuesday, February 7 | 4:00pm | Knight Law Center 175 

7th Annual Black History Month Banquet

Friday, February 10 | 6:00 - 10:00pm | Valley River Inn (1000 Valley River Way)

Voices: Black In Oregon

Thursday, February 16 | 6:00 - 10:00pm | Ford Alumni Center Ballroom

Ducks After Dark: Loving

Thursday, February 16 | 8:30 - 11:30pm | EMU Redroom Auditorium

Wiley Griffon Signage Dedication & Forum

Friday, February 17 | 5:30pm | EWEB Headquarters (500 East 4th Ave)