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Black History Month Celebrations at Northwestern

In 1926, Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History sponsored the inaugural Negro History Week to honor and highlight the significant contributions made by African Americans throughout history. In 1976, the initiative expanded nationwide to become Black History Month, celebrated every February.

Quibblers Club, 1946

Quibblers club 1946
Members of the Quibblers Club, a Black student organization, 1946.(Photo credit: Purple Parrot)


Photo credit: Northwestern Now

Originating in 1926 as an integrated student group for commuters. Later, it became a Black student organization that hosted social gatherings, lectures, and sponsored events for Negro History Week.

Notably, in 1946, Georgia Laffoon, a member of the group, curated a display in Deering Library showcasing notable Black figures, “Miss Laffoon wrote the biographical sketches under the portraits and collected the samples of magazines and newspapers published by Negroes. Lyon and Healy, Evanston music, lent the portraits of Negro musicians” (Daily Northwestern).




For Members Only, 1973

James Turner addressing members of FMO (Photo credit: Ronald Craig, Courtesy of Northwestern University Archives).

For Members Only (FMO) was established in 1967 as a vital social group for Black students at Northwestern.

In 1973, the organization invited James Turner to give a keynote address at their Black History Month program. Turner was a student leader and spokesperson during the 1968 takeover of the bursar's office.

He later became the founding director of Cornell University's Africana Studies and Research Center, where he coined Africana Studies.

Students listening to Turner's keynote address

Students listening to Turner's keynote address. (Photo credit: Ronald Craig, Courtesy of Northwestern University Archives)