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Annual Black History Month Lecture

VCU Libraries celebrates the African-American experience and achievements in art, culture, history, literature and the sciences. 

Black History Month: A Brief Overview

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a native Virginian and Harvard historian, founded the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History in 1915. The mission of this association was to train black historians and to collect, maintain, and publish documents in African-American history. 

Eleven years later, in 1926, he established "Negro History Week" to promote racial understanding and to coordinate the study of the African experience in American and world history. The name changed to "Afro-American (Black) History Week" in 1972. Black Americans wanted to focus on their African background and to recognize their specific contributions as American citizens.

The month of February was chosen for this celebration because it contained the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. During America's Bicentennial celebration of 1976, the Association shared prominently in the promotion of American history. The week-long celebration became Black History Month to allow more time for programs and study.

VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (866) 828-2665
(804) 828-1111
All Libraries
Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Richmond, VA 23298-0582
Toll-free: (866) 828-2665
(804) 828-0636

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