Skip to main content

Black History Month 2024

Toni Montgomery and Tracey Gibson-Johnson
Toni Montgomery (left) and Tracey Gibson - Jackson (right)

Greetings & Salutations!

It is an honor and a pleasure for the Northwestern University Black Professionals Network (BPN) to kick off Black History Month. Our mission is to build community through shared experiences in a comfortable space that fosters open dialogue, leadership, and mentorship to improve the Northwestern Black professional experience.

As we reflect on and celebrate Black History, we also honor the contributions and sacrifices of our ancestors whose shoulders we stand on! One of the most notable is Carter G. Woodson, “the father of Black history and culture.” In 1926 he initiated and introduced Negro History Week, which was celebrated during the second week of February. By the late 1960’s, Negro History Week evolved into Black History Month.

It is especially important to remember our nation’s first Black president Barack Obama’s reflections, “Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history or somehow just boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits from the March on Washington or from some of our sports heroes. It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America.”

The 2024 Black History Month national theme is African Americans and the Arts, or the “Black Arts Movement.” This February, there will be dialogue sessions to actively engage our BPN members. These series of dialogues will explore ideologies and thoughts related to Black self-determination, political beliefs, and African American culture with BPN members.

We extend a challenge to you to lean into Black History month, learn something new, and share resources. To assist in this journey, here are 40 Black History month activities for February and beyond.

Remember, there is no American history without Black history!