Spurred by the desire to promote the “scientific study of black life and history,” African American historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson formed the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in 1915. Several years later, he decided that the Association should bear the responsibility of publicizing knowledge about black history, and in February 1926 a press release was sent out announcing “Negro History Week.” The weeklong celebration of the advances and accomplishments achieved by African Americans has since grown to encompass the entire month of February, and the annual theme set forth by the Association has been endorsed by presidential proclamation from every American president across party lines since the mid-1970s. Released last week, this year’s Presidential Proclamation for National African American History Month is available in full online.
Join the Cardinal Cushing Library in celebrating the 2016 theme, “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories,” by checking out the materials on display in the Reading Room. Reference Librarians have also put together a Black History Month 2016 guide, which features a walking tour of significant African American cultural sites in Boston and the United States. The executive proclamation of the month’s theme is also on display, and can be found online through ASALH. As always, the Reference Librarians are happy to assist with any research needs or questions that you may have.
 Daryl Michael Scott. “Origins of Black History Month.” Association for the Study of African American Life and History. http://asalh100.org/origins-of-black-history-month/