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Black History Month   Tags: african-americans, black history month, diversity  

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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The story of Black History Month begins in Chicago during the late summer of 1915. An alumnus of the University of Chicago with many friends in the city, Carter G. Woodson traveled from Washington, D.C. to participate in a national celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of emancipation sponsored by the state of Illinois.

Thousands of African Americans travelled from across the country to see exhibits highlighting the progress their people had made since the destruction of slavery.  Awarded a doctorate in Harvard three years earlier, Woodson joined the other exhibitors with a black history display. Despite being held at the Coliseum, the site of the 1912 Republican convention, an overflow crowd of six to twelve thousand waited outside for their turn to view the exhibits.

Inspired by the three-week celebration, Woodson decided to form an organization to promote the scientific study of black life and history before leaving town. On September 9th, Woodson met at the Wabash YMCA with A. L. Jackson and three others and formed the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH)...

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"Scull" by Jean-Michel Basquiat

To learn more about Jean-Michel Basquiat and other African-American artists, visit ARTSTOR.


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Digital Collections

Below are links to digital collections related to Black History Month.

  • African American History Month
    The Library of Congress, National Endowment of the Arts, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration have joined together to highlight digital collections that deal with African American History.
  • Cal State LA's Compton Communicative Arts Academy Collection
    The Compton Communicative Arts Academy (CCAA) Archive is a multi-year project to preserve and provide access to a collection of images of national significance that document African American art and culture, community-based art making, and art-based community making in Los Angeles during the early 1970s
  • CSUS's The California Underground Railroad Archive
    Digitized by California State University, Sacramento, The California Underground Railroad Archive explores the neglected history of slavery in California.
  • NYPL's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
    The Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division collects, preserves, and makes available for research purposes rare, unique, and primary materials that document the history and culture of people of African descent throughout the world, with a concentration on the Americas and the Caribbean.

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