February marks Black History Month, a month-long observance in the United States and Canada that recognizes the significant contributions of African-Americans to American history, as well as the historical legacies of the African diaspora. We hope you’ll find the stories below, and the scholarship they include in full, a valuable resource for classroom or leisure reading.

Carter G. Woodson, The Father of Black History Month

The origins of Black History Month date back to 1926, when a historian named Carter G. Woodson spearheaded “Negro History Week.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Why MLK Believed Jazz Was the Perfect Soundtrack for Civil Rights

Jazz, King declared, was the ability to take the “hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.”
Charles Drew sitting with medical residents at Freedmen's Hospital

The 1910 Report That Disadvantaged Minority Doctors

A century ago, the Flexner Report led to the closure of 75% of U.S. medical schools. It still explains a lot about today’s unequal access to healthcare.
Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield

Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, “The Black Swan”

Born into slavery, Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield broke barriers with every note she sang.
David Ruggles

The First Black-Owned Bookstore and the Fight for Freedom

Black abolitionist David Ruggles opened the first Black-owned bookstore in 1834, pointing the way to freedom—in more ways than one.
New Orleans, 1939

How St. Louis Domestic Workers Fought Exploitation

Without many legal protections under the New Deal, Black women organized through the local Urban League.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett

The Alpha Suffrage Club and Black Women’s Fight for the Vote

Black women's experiences in the suffrage movement show that the Nineteenth Amendment marked one event in the fight for the vote, not an endpoint.
Pee Dee Rosenwald School, Marion County, South Carolina, c. 1935.

How Black Communities Built Their Own Schools

Rosenwald schools, named for a philanthropist, were funded mostly by Black people of the segregated South.
African Phantasy : Awakening by Winold Reiss

The New Negro and the Dawn of the Harlem Renaissance

In 1925, an anthology of Black creative work heralded the arrival of a movement that had been years in the making.
The first black marines decorated by the famed 2nd Marine Dvision somewhere in the Pacific. (Left to right) Staff Sgt Timerlate Kirven and Cpl. Samuel J. Love, Sr., received Purple Hearts for wounds received in the Battle of Saipan.

Who Were the Montford Point Marines?

The first African-American recruits in the Marine Corps trained at Montford Point, eventually ending the military’s longstanding policy of racial segregation.
Alice Childress, Paul Robeson and Lorraine Hansberry

In the McCarthy Era, to Be Black Was to Be Red

The Marxist sympathies of Black radical leaders like Paul Robeson, Alice Childress, and Lorraine Hansberry made them targets for the FBI.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Two_African_American_women,_three-quarter_length_portrait,_seated,_facing_each_other_LCCN99472087.tif

Searching for Black Queer History in Sensational Newspapers

Sometimes finding the stories of marginalized populations demands reading between the lines.

The Mob Violence of the Red Summer

In 1919, a brutal outburst of mob violence was directed against African Americans across the United States. White, uniformed servicemen led the charge.

Tuskegee University’s Hidden Audio Collections

The archives of the historically black Tuskegee University recently released recordings from 1957 to 1971, with a number by powerful civil rights leaders.

We’ll be adding more stories related to Black History Month throughout February.

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