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Black Lives, Black History: Introduction

Guide to research and resources for African American History.

Each year February is designated as National African American History Month in the U.S. The intent is to celebrate the contributions African Americans have made to American history in their struggle to achieve equality, freedom, and civil rights. Around the nation museums, archives, libraries, academic institutions, churches, and other organizations sponsor events and host speakers. This subject guide provides information and resources available through the Full Sail Library to assist students who are researching or have an interest in learning more about African American history and the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.

Origins in Brief

National African American History Month originated in 1915 under the auspices of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, when he established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now known as Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Through his guidance the first Negro History Week occurred in February 1926.

Beginning in 1975 each American President has issued a message or proclamation on the observance of Black History Month (1975-1996) and African American History Month (1996-current). In 1986 Public Law 99-244 was passed, designating February as Black History Month.

"African American History Month." (2015). Law Library, Library of Congress. Retrieved from

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2024 Theme

The theme selected for the 2024 African American History Month is "African Americans and the Arts." From the Association for the Study of African American Life and History: "African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences. In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment. Artistic and cultural movements such as the New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, have been led by people of African descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world. In 2024, we examine the varied history and life of African American arts and artisans."

African Americans and the arts poster 2024 theme


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Stephanie Maatta
3300 University Blvd., Winter Park, FL 32792
407.679.0100 x. 8438

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Winter Park, FL 32792
407-679-0100 ext. 6984