January 31, 2020

Every year in February, we honor Black History Month, which was founded by The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). ASALH was founded in 1915 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson with a mission to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.

We share, in ASALH’s own words, why Black History Month is critical.

“Let us think of Black History Month as the way our nation honors its greatest moments and greatest people. Let us appreciate Black History Month in a similar way—as when our government sets aside a month or day, thereby giving it a special meaning for all Americans. No one should think that Black History is confined to the month of February, when evidence to the contrary appears everywhere and in every month. 

Thanks to the pioneering work of our founder Dr. Carter G. Woodson and ASALH, information on the contributions of persons of African descent to our nation and world is currently taught in universities and in many K-12 schools. Black History is featured in television documentaries and in local and national museums. It is conveyed through literature, the visual arts, and music. The great lives and material culture of Black History can be seen in national park sites and in the preservation of historic homes, buildings, and even cemeteries. Black History Month is not a token. It is a special tribute—a time of acknowledgement, of reflection, and inspiration—that comes to life in real and ongoing activities throughout the year, just as the work of ASALH…steadily asserted both racial pride and the centrality of race and the black experience to the American narrative and heritage.  

The history of the United States is certainly taught and conveyed all year long, but its greatest symbolic celebration occurs on one-day, the Fourth of July.  Black History Month, too, is a powerful symbolic celebration. And symbols always stand for something bigger—in our case, the important role of Black History in pursuit of racial justice and equality.”

Read more about Black History Month, and follow ASALH on Twitter.

For support for Black and African American families with LGBTQ+ people, learn more about PFLAG Connects: Black/African American Community meetings.

Discover more:

Black LGBTQ+ organizations 

Center for Black Equity: An important partner of PFLAG National, CBE is improving the lives of Black LGBTQ+ people globally by focusing on economic, health, & social equity.

National Black Justice Coalition: NBJC’s mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ/SGL bias and stigma.

Black AIDS Institute: Working to end the Black HIV epidemic through policy, advocacy, and high-quality direct HIV services.

Black And Pink: Dedicated to eradicating the prison-industrial complex. Connects with LGBTQ+ prisoners and offers various outreach programs, including a network of penpals. Chapters located all across the United States

Black Visions: A Black-led, Queer and Trans centering organization whose mission is to organize powerful, connected Black communities and dismantle systems of violence.

Black Transmen: Their mission is to ensure that all transgender men and TLGB individuals are acknowledged and provided equal access and protection under the law thereby enabling them to contribute towards a productive society.

Black Transwomen, Inc.: BTWI has committed to empowerment, providing the trans-feminine community with programs and resources to help inspire individual growth and contributions to the greater good of society.

Black Trans Advocacy Coalition: The BTAC consists of a national advocacy center and affiliate state chapters. They work daily to end poverty, health inequity, and racist housing and employment systems to improve the lived experience of transgender people. Our work is based in peace building, community education, public policy initiatives, empowerment programs and direct services.

The Marsha P. Johnson Institute: Protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people by organizing, advocating, creating an intentional community to heal, developing transformative leadership, and promoting our collective power.

National Black organizations

NAACP: NAACP is the home of grassroots activism for civil rights and social justice.

Black Lives Matter: The official #BlackLivesMatter Global Network builds power to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people across the globe.

Black Veterans for Social Justice Established in 1979, BVSJ is a non-profit, community-based organization servicing veterans, their families, and members of the community. 

Black Alliance for Just Immigration BAJI educates and engages African American and black immigrant communities to organize and advocate for racial, social, and economic justice.

Color Of Change  Color of Change design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. Until justice is real.

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