Black History Month: Celebrating the accomplishments of Black Americans

celebrating Black History Month poster

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“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.”

Carter G. Woodson, co-founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History or ASALH)

February’s celebration of Black History Month originated in the 1920s and attained more formal recognition in the '70s with President Gerald R. Ford’s 1976 bicentennial year message about its importance. He described Black History Month as an occasion to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since that time, every American president has issued proclamations endorsing the ASALH’s annual Black History Month theme.


2020 Black History Month theme: African Americans and the Vote (ASALH)

In order to promote awareness of the accomplishments of all Black Americans, it is also important to highlight the stories of some of the many Black Catholics who have achieved greatness in the face of racism’s plight — and in many cases the supreme greatness of holiness. Read more in a Simply Catholic article, "Celebrating the Contributions of Black Catholics"

On the Road to Sainthood: Leaders of African Descent (USCCB)
African American events in 2020 (USCCB)
Learn about The National Black Catholic Congress
Read about November’s celebration of Black Catholic History Month (Crux)


Black History Month Celebrations – Aquinas College, Grand Rapids

Additional Resources

Remembering the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
Read the USCCB’s Pastoral Letter Against Racism: Open Wide our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love (bilingual)

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