Is It Called African American History Month or Black History Month?

There has been an ongoing debate about whether it is called African American History Month or Black History Month. Some people use the terms interchangeably, while others argue that there is a difference between the two.

What is Black History Month?

Black History Month is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom that celebrates the achievements and contributions of Black people throughout history. It began as a week-long celebration in February 1926, created by historian Carter G. Woodson to honor the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The week was later expanded to a month-long observance in 1976.

Why is it called Black History Month?

The term “Black” refers to people of African descent who are from different parts of the world, not just America. Therefore, it is considered more inclusive than “African American.” Additionally, many Black people feel that “African American” only acknowledges their connection to America and ignores their roots from other parts of the world.

Why do some people prefer African American History Month?

On the other hand, some people prefer the term “African American History Month” because they believe it more accurately reflects what the observance is about – celebrating the history and culture of African Americans specifically. They argue that using “Black” instead of “African American” erases important distinctions within the Black community and ignores their unique experiences as Americans.

What’s in a name?

Ultimately, whether you prefer to use African American or Black to describe this observance comes down to personal preference and how you view its purpose. What’s most important is that we continue to celebrate and honor the contributions of Black Americans throughout history.

The Importance of Celebrating Black History

Regardless of what you call it, there’s no denying that this observance plays a crucial role in recognizing and honoring the significant contributions of Black Americans to our society.

For centuries, Black Americans have faced discrimination and hardship in various forms. Despite these challenges, they have made significant contributions to fields such as science, art, literature, politics, and more. Black History Month serves as a reminder of these accomplishments and the ongoing struggle for equality.


In conclusion, whether you call it African American History Month or Black History Month, what’s most important is that we continue to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Black Americans throughout history. By doing so, we can learn from their experiences, honor their achievements, and work towards a more just and equitable future.