Dr. Carter G. Woodson was an American historian and writer, and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASAALH). Through this organization he sought to bring to light the accomplishments, history, and contributions of African Americans. The association began publishing the Journal of Negro History (1916) and the Negro History Bulletin (1937), both of which are still published today. This year ASAALH is offering a virtual celebration as well.
In 1926 Carter G. Woodson began the celebration of Negro History Week to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. By 1976 the celebration grew to be the month of February. Every year Black History Month is celebrated in schools, museums, archives, and libraries.
Each year ASAAHL assigns a theme to guide the exploration of black history and culture. This year's theme is Black Resistance.
African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms, especially the racial terrorism of lynching, racial pogroms, and police killings since our arrival upon these shores. These efforts have been to advocate for a dignified self-determined life in a just democratic society in the United States and beyond the United States political jurisdiction. The 1950s and 1970s in the United States was defined by actions such as sit-ins, boycotts, walk outs, strikes by Black people and white allies in the fight for justice against discrimination in all sectors of society from employment to education to housing. Black people have had to consistently push the United States to live up to its ideals of freedom, liberty, and justice for all. Systematic oppression has sought to negate much of the dreams of our griots, like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, and our freedom fighters, like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Septima Clark, and Fannie Lou Hamer fought to realize. Black people have sought ways to nurture and protect Black lives, and for autonomy of their physical and intellectual bodies through armed resistance, voluntary emigration, nonviolence, education, literature, sports, media, and legislation/politics. Black led institutions and affiliations have lobbied, litigated, legislated, protested, and achieved success.