When Carter G. Woodson established Negro History week in 1926, he
realized the importance of providing a theme to focus the attention of
the public.  The intention has never been to dictate or limit the
exploration of the Black experience, but to bring to the public's
attention important developments that merit emphasis.  

For those interested in the study of identity and ideology, an
exploration of ASALH's Black History themes is itself instructive.  Over
the years, the themes reflect changes in how people of African
descent in the United States have viewed themselves, the influence of
social movements on racial ideologies, and the aspirations of the black

The changes notwithstanding, the list reveals an overarching
continuity in ASALH--our dedication to exploring historical issues of
importance to people of African descent and race relations in America.

--Daryl Michael Scott, Howard University

Civil Rights in America

Read President Obama's Black History Month Presidential Proclamation.

Click here to view ASALH 2014 White House meeting photographs.

Senate Resolution for Black History Month 2014.



Future Themes


2015        A Century of Black Life, History and Culture
Past Themes

1928        Civilization: A World Achievement
1929        Possibility of Putting Negro History in the Curriculum
1930        Significant Achievements of the Negro
1931        Neglected Aspects of Negro History
1932        What George Washington Bicentennial Commission Fail to Do
1933        Ethiopia Meets Error in Truth
1934        Contribution of the Negro in Poetry, in Painting, in Sculpture and in Science
1935        The Negro Achievements in Africa
1936        African Background Outlined
1937        American Negro History from the Time of Importation from Africa up to the Present Day
1938        Special Achievements of the Race: Oratory, Drama, Music, Painting,
                Sculpture,  Science and Inventions
1939        Special Achievements of the Race: Religion, Education, Business, Architecture,
                Engineering, Innovation, Pioneering
1940        Negro Labor
1941        The Career of Frederick Douglass
1942        The Negro in Democracy
1943        The Negro in the Modern World
1944        The Negro and the New Order
1945        The Negro and Reconversion
1946        Let us Have Peace
1947        Democracy Possible only Through Brotherhood
1948        The Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth
1949        The Use of Spirituals in the Classroom
1950-       Outstanding Moments in Negro History
1951        Eminent Negroes in World Affairs
1952        Great Negro Educators (Teachers)
1953        Negro History and Human Relations
1954        Negro History: A Foundation for Integration
1955        Negro History: A Contribution to America's Intercultural Life
1956        Negro History in an Era of Changing Human Relations
1957        Negro History
1958        Negro History: A Factor in Nationalism and Internationalism
1959        Negro History: A Foundation for a Proud America
1960        Strengthening America Through Education in Negro History and African Culture
1961        Freedom and Democracy for the Negro after 100 years (1861-1961)
1962        Negro History and a New Birth of Freedom
1963        Negro History Evaluates Emancipation (1863-1963)
1964        Negro History: A Basis for the New Freedom
1965        Negro History: Freedom's Foundation
1966        Freedom from Racial Myths and Stereotypes Through Negro History
1967        Negro History in the Home, School, and the Community
1968        The Centennial of the Fourteenth Amendment Afro American History Week
1969        Changing the Afro American Image through History
1970        15th Amendment and Black America in the Century (1870-1970)
1971        African Civilization and Culture: A Worthy Historical Background
1972        African Art, Music, Literature; a Valuable Cultural Experience
1973        Biography Illuminates the Black Experience
1974        Helping America Understand
1975        Fulfilling America's Promise: Black History Month
1976        America for All Americans
1977        Heritage Days: The Black Perspective; the Third Century
1978        Roots, Achievements and Projections
1979        History: Torch for the future
1980        Heritage for America
1981        Black History: Role Model for Youth
1982        Afro American Survival
1983        Afro Americans in the United States
1984        Afro Americans and Education
1985        Afro American Family
1986        Afro American Experience: International Connection
1987        Afro Americans and the Constitution from Colonial Times to the Present
1988        Constitutional Status of Afro Americans in the 21st Century
1989        Afro Americans and Religion
1990        Seventy-Five Years of Scholarly Excellence: A Homage to Our Forebearers
1991        Educating America: Black Universities and Colleges, Strengths and Crisis
1992        African Roots Experience New Worlds, Pre-Columbus to Space Exploration
1993        Afro-American Scholars: Leaders, Activists and Writers
1994        Empowering Black Americans
1995        Reflections on 1895: Douglass, Du Bois &  Washington
1996        Black Women
1997        African Americans and Civil Rights; a Reprisal
1998        Black Business
1999        Legacy of African American Leadership for the Present and the Future
2000        Heritage and Horizons: The African American Legacy and the Challenges for the 21st               
2001        Creating and Defining the African American Community:
                Family, Church Politics and Culture
2002        The Color Line Revisited: Is Racism Dead?
2003        The Souls of Black Folks: Centennial Reflections
2004        Before Brown, Beyond Boundaries: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of
                Brown v. Board of Education
2005        The Niagara Movement: Black Protest Reborn, 1905-2005
2006        Celebrating Community: A Tribute to Black Fraternal, Social, and Civil Institutions
2007        From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the Americas
2008        Carter G. Woodson and the Origins of Multiculturalism
2009        The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas
2010        The History of Black Economic Empowerment
2011        African Americans and the Civil War
2012        Black Women in American Culture and History
                President Barack Obama National Black History Month Proclamation
2013        At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation
                and the March on Washington
Past, Present and Future
National Black History Themes