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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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2023 Theme

The theme selected for the 2023 African American History Month is "Black Resistance." The Association for the Study of African American Life and History explains that this year's theme is an important one. The ASALH states that "Black resistance strategies have served as a model for every other social movement in the country, thus, the legacy and importance of these actions cannot be understated." The theme was chosen given the importance of what is happening in the country and that "this is a call to everyone, inside and outside the academy, to study the history of Black Americans’ responses to establish safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected."


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

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Torrie Pringle
3700 University Blvd.
Winter Park, FL 32792
407-679-0100 ext. 6984