Black Heritage Celebration

Carter G. Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) in 1915.
His research resulted in the publication of the "Journal of Negro History" sharing the story of Blacks in
America nationwide. By 1926, Woodson, also known as the father of Black History Month, inspired and
led the creation of "Negro History Week," a programmatic celebration of the contributions of Blacks in
America. In 1970 following many years of civil unrest in our nation, Black educators and students at
Kent State University fought for an expanded recognition period, setting the standard for a full month of
celebration.
In 1976, February was officially designated as African American History Month (AAHM) by the federal
government. This proclamation, signed by President Gerald R. Ford, was shared after several decades of
advocacy, passion, and persistence by Woodson, and W. E. B. Du Bois, and countless civil rights activists.
Inspired by Carter G Woodson, Black student leaders at GW challenged the notion of any calendar
limitation on the celebration of Black History and Culture on campus. Long conversations in the
Multicultural Student Services Center Lounge (MSSC), often led by eventual Black Student Union Co-
Presidents Charles Basden and Dr. Nikki Lane, resulted in a break with tradition. In 2006, what we knew
as national Black History Month nationwide, would be transformed into the Black Heritage Celebration
(BHC) at the George Washington University...encouraging the exploration of and promotion of the
values and traditions of African-American, Caribbean, African and Afro-Latino cultures throughout the
year.
Black Heritage Celebration programs include student culture shows, performers, distinguished guest
lectures, seminars, and educational events.
 
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The Multicultural Student Services Center (MSSC) provides logistical, content, marketing, planning, and ideological support for
Black student organizations to collaborate and promote cultural awareness throughout the year. Students, faculty, staff, and
alumni are encouraged to develop programs for BHC. The "Annual Black Heritage Celebration Call for Programs" will occur in
October of each year. All activities related to BHC are facilitated by senior staff at the MSSC, faculty friends, Campus Partners,
and MSSC Graduate Program Coordinators. The minimum requirement for involvement in the BHC is to have a commitment to
and passion for Black history and culture.
For more information, call 202-994-MSSC (6772).