What are the Themes for black History month 2016?

Question:What are the Themes for black month History?

Black history month Themes

The Theme for black History month 2016 is: Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories

African American History Month 2016-Hollowed Grounds

Hallowed grounds: sites of African American memories By Alicia L. Moore & La Vonne I. Neal In this issue, we honor hallowed grounds: sites of African American memories preserved by the National Park Service.



They are sacred sites associated with our nation’s diverse history, from ancient archaeological sites to the homes of poets and presidents to the sobering stories of Civil War soldiers and civilians1 to the legacies of courageous women and men who organized the Civil Rights Movement. In 2016, the National Park Service turns 100 years old. Authors within this issue explore the theme of hallowed grounds by sharing memories of actions for justice, literature, military legacies, migration, and museums.

To participate in the centennial celebration, we decided to use our oral tradition as African Americans and preserve the memories of harbingers who were standard bearers—whose work we personally experienced. Thus, we call the following names:  Mr. Robert G. Stanton, who served nearly four decades in the National Park Service and became the first African American to be appointed as director of the National Park Service. He played a key role in the preservation of cultural sites that were part of the rich history of people of color in the United States. The National Park Service’s heritage initiatives have recognized special sites associated with American Latino and Black history, Asian American and Pacific Islander history, women’s history, and LGBTQ history. Dr. Margaret Burroughs, founder of the DuSable Museum in Chicago, and Dr. Charles H. Wright, founder of the Museum of African American History in Detroit.

Drs. Burroughs and Wright, who initiated a series of conferences for Black museums in the 1960s, laid the foundation for the establishment of the Association for African American Museums in 1978.3 These museums are hallowed sites that preserve and protect African and African American art, history, and culture.4 We conclude with anticipation of the reopening of Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s home—a National Historic Landmark since 1976 and a part of the national park system since 2006. The National Park Service recently announced plans to restore this historic site, which was also the national headquarters of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) until the early 1970s. Black History Month: Hallowed ground. An investigation of old grave sites in New England is unearthing hard truths about yankees and slavery


2017 The Crisis in Black Education

The plight of the Black Intellectual”

The peculiarities of the American social structure, and the position of the intellectual class within it, make the functional role of the Negro intellectual a special one. The Negro intellectual must deal intimately with the white power structure and cultural apparatus, and the inner realities of the black world at one and the same time. But in order to function successfully in this role, he has to be acutely aware of the nature of the American social dynamic and how it monitors the ingredients of class stratifications in American society. Therefore the functional role of the Negro intellectual demands that he cannot be absolutely separated from either the black or white world. 

Harold Cruse, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual (1967)

The Future of the Black Intellectual

The predicament of the black intellectual need not be grim and dismal. Despite the pervasive racism of American society and anti-intellectualism of the black community, critical space and insurgent activity can be expanded. This expansion will occur more readily when black intellectuals take a more candid look at themselves, the historical and social forces that shape them, and the limited though significant resources of the community from whence they come. A critical "self-inventory" that scrutinizes the social positions, class locations, and cultural socializations of black intellectuals is imperative. Such scrutiny should be motivated by neither self-pity nor self-satisfaction. Rather this "self-inventory" should embody the sense of critique and resistance applicable to the black community,

American society, and Western civilization as a whole.

James Baldwin has noted that the black intellectual is "a kind of bastard of the West." The future of the black intellectual lies neither in a deferential disposition toward the Western parent nor in a nostalgic search for the African one. Rather it resides in a critical negation, wise preservation, and insurgent transformation of this black lineage which protects the earth and projects a better world.

The Black Intellectual

From inspired poets such as Phyllis Wheatley in the 1700s, to Michael Eric Dyson in 2015 and the multitude of Black Thinkers who have made their mark in between the previously mentioned eras, it’s clear that our race creates bright men and women whose mind is just as sharp–and in numerous cases sharper–than their counterparts in the dominant society.

However, like many other signs of progress made in the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s, Black Society’s path seemed to take a left turn. Over the past several decades, there was an underlying train of though among our people (particularly among our youth) that the aspiration to be intelligent was no longer “cool”, and that we would suffer ridicule from our fellow Melanoid Brothers and Sisters for letting our respective brilliant lights shine too brightly.
In contrast to this way of thinking, there seems to be a celebration of the Black Intellectual that our people have not witnessed since perhaps the glorious days of the Harlem Renaissance. From Dr. Kaba Kamene, to Dr. Joy DeGruy, the contemporary Black Intellectual has seemingly elevated the awareness of Black Society single handedly by blessing us with a wealth of invaluable information which we are now responsible for implementing into our lives in order to improve our current standing as a race.


On Black People and (Higher) Education


2018 African Americans in Times of War

"Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letter, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship"
Frederick Douglass


American Civil War-African Americans During the Civil War

Not Allowed to Fight

It may seem only natural for us today that African-Americans would have fought on the side of the North in the Civil War. After all, they would have been fighting for their freedom and the end of slavery. However, despite wanting to end slavery, people in the North did not want African-Americans to become part of the army. Even President Lincoln was afraid that the border states would secede if he allowed former slaves to fight in the war.

African-American Soldiers Join the Army

Some abolitionists, such as Frederick Douglass, argued that African-Americans should be allowed to fight. As the war continued, the North needed more able-bodied men to fight. In early 1863, the Union decided to officially allow African-Americans to join the army. White and black soldiers would still be in separate regiments and black regiments would have white officers.


The First Black Regiments

The first black regiments played an important role. Many white people believed that the former slaves would not be brave enough to fight in battle. The first black regiments proved them wrong. They fought with courage and bravery in the face of gunfire and death. Two of the first African-American regiments fought under General Nathaniel Banks at the Battle of Port Hudson. General Banks would later praise them on their valor and character.

The Courage to Fight

It took a lot of courage for any soldier to fight in the Civil War, but it was even more dangerous for black soldiers. If black soldiers were captured by the Confederates while fighting for the Union, they were executed or sold back into slavery. The Confederates also executed any captured white officers of black regiments.

The 54th Massachusetts

One of the most famous black regiments was the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Their story was told in the award winning 1989 movie Glory. Their most famous battle was when they led the Union charge on Fort Wagner. They lost around 40% of their troops including their commander Colonel Robert Shaw. However, their bravery was an inspiration to all Union troops, especially other black regiments.

More African-American Soldiers

As the war continued, more black soldiers enlisted to fight for the North. They became a major part of the Union armed forces. By the end of the war, around 180,000 African-Americans had fought making a major difference and helping the North to win the war.

African Americans in the South

African-Americans also participated in the Confederate Army. They were mostly used as workers, although they were sometimes forced into battle when the fighting became fierce. Near the end of the war, in 1865, the South finally approved black soldiers.

Interesting Facts About African Americans During the Civil War

Through much of the war, black soldiers were paid $10 a week. This was $3 less than white soldiers. Equal pay was eventually granted by Congress in 1864.

Senator Howell Cobb of Georgia said "if slaves make good soldiers, then our whole theory of slavery is wrong."

Around 40,000 African-American soldiers died during the war. Around 70% of them died from disease and infection.

Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who worked on the Underground Railroad, worked as a spy for the North during the Civil War.
Slaves who escaped to the Union Army were called contrabands.
The history of African Americans in the American Civil War is marked by 186,097 (7,122 officers, 178,975 enlisted/soldiers & sailors):12 African Americans comprising 163 units who served in the United States Army, then nicknamed the "Union Army" during the Civil War. Later in the War many regiments were recruited and organized as the "United States Colored Troops", which reinforced the Northern side substantially in the last two years.
Many more African Americans served in the United States Navy also known as the "Union Navy" and formed a large percentage of many ships' crews. Both free African Americans and runaway slaves joined the fight.
On the Confederate/Southern side, both free and slave Blacks were used for manual labor, but the issue of whether to arm them, and under what terms, became a major source of debate within the Confederate Congress, the President's Cabinet, and C.S. War Department staff. They were authorized in the last month of the War in March 1865, to recruit, train and arm slaves, but no significant numbers were ever raised or recruited.
Image of Robert Smalls (April 5, 1839 – Feb. 23, 1915)
Robert Smalls was an African-American born into slavery in Beaufort, S.C., but during and after the American Civil War, he became a ship’s pilot, sea captain, and politician.

Black history month in 2009, The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas


Black history 2009theme: The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas

The Black Hour Community Forum Series held "The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas" Feb. 10, 2009 at Laney College in Oakland. The Black History Month program was the first of a series of Forums to be sponsored by The Black Hour.

The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas, explores black America's quest for equality from the early national period through the twentieth century. The Library's materials, gathered over the two hundred years of its existence, tell the story of the African American experience through nine chronological periods that document the courage and determination of blacks, faced with adverse circumstances, who overcame immense odds to fully participate in all aspects of American society.

The exhibit includes the work of abolitionists in the first half of the nineteenth century, depictions of the long journey following the Civil War towards equality in employment, education and politics, strategies used to secure the vote, recognition of outstanding black leaders, and the contributions of sports figures, black soldiers, artists, actors, writers and others in the fight against segregation and discrimination.The items in this exhibit attest to the drama and achievement of this remarkable story. Although they give a comprehensive, rich picture of more than 200 years of African American struggle and achievement, they represent only a rivulet of the collections the Library of Congress holds in this essential part of American history.

Theme of black history month 2010: The History of Black Economic Empowerment

Black History Month Honors Legacy of Struggle and Triumph – The History of Black Economic Empowerment
Economic empowerment is rooted in education, opportunity and self-help. Education must include financial literacy, development of marketable skills, and knowledge about basic rights. Also essential are freedom from violence and intimidation, laws ensuring equal-opportunity employment, access to credit and finance, jobs paying adequate wages, and representation in decision-making positions. Black Economic Empowerment in America : Why does entrepreneurship matter ?

Theme of black history month 2011-African Americans and the Civil War

Units from the United States Colored Troops (USCT) fighting for the Union made their mark on Civil War battlefields in every theater of the war. Though seen by white soldiers and officers as lacking the courage and ability to fight and fight well after Congress allowed the enlistment of African Americans in July 1862. Civil War history is often presented in terms of white Northern actors fighting against white Southerners, with African Americans waiting on the sides as their fate was decided. Of course, this is far from the truth. What may come as a surprise to some is the fact that both the Union and the Confederates brought African American troops to the battlefield. Before the Civil War broke out in 1861, there were an estimated almost four million slaves in the United States, and just under 500,000 free African Americans. Combined they comprised about 14 percent of the country’s population.
Of these 4.5 million, some 180,000 African Americans served in 163 units for the Union army as well as surely thousands more in the Navy.

African-Americans In the Union Army

At the onset of the Civil War, free black men rushed to volunteer for service with the Union forces. Although African Americans had served in the army and navy during the American Revolution and in the War of 1812 (few, if any served in the Mexican War), they were not permitted to enlist because of a 1792 law that barred them from bearing arms in the U.S. Army. President Abraham Lincoln also feared that accepting black men into the military would cause border states like Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri to secede.

The First Black Regiments

The first authorized black regiments designated colored troops consisted of recruits from Massachusetts, Tennessee, and South Carolina, the latter in areas under Union control, of course. In May 1863, the Corps d’ Afrique was formed in Louisiana by Union major general Nathanial Banks. He planned for it to consist of 18 regiments, infantry, artillery and cavalry, with engineers and mobile hospitals.

Other Roles Of African-Americans In The Civil War

Blacks on both sides of the war served in relief roles, for example, working as nurses, cooks, and blacksmiths. The South refused to arm blacks but used them to build fortifications and perform camp duties; many Northern officers refused to believe black troops would fight, and so they were often assigned to non-combat duties or placed in the rear guarding railroads and bridges. Blacks also served as spies and scouts to the Union Army, providing valuable information about Confederate forces, plans, and familiar terrain.

Black Slaves In The Confederate Army

Blacks also served in the Confederate Army, although most were impressed as a slave labor force. Others were brought along by their masters to tend to the master’s needs in camp. In some cases, these servants were entrusted with a master’s personal affects if he was killed, and returned them to his family. There are reports of a few servants who took their master’s place on the firing line and were adopted by the regiment. Records also show men who served as color-bearers in militia units. Tens of thousands may have served, willingly or otherwise.


Theme of black history month 2012: Black Women in American Culture and History

Celebrating Black Women in American Culture and History

First Lady Michelle Obama releases a video message in honor of African American History Month.
Mrs. Obama urges others to not only celebrate African-American heroes such as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, whose contributions to the improvement of the country are depicted in many history books; but to also honor the women of today, “our aunts … our best friends … all those women who live each day with a spirit that is uniquely their own, and who continue to write our country’s story every single day.”
It’s February, and with that annual marker comes Black History Month. It’s such an important moment when the history of an entire community gets elevated, but also such a frustrating reminder of how every other month is white history month. When will get past this kind of marginalization?

Despite this, it is good to be reminded to dig a bit deeper and examine the specific history of a community that has been so integral to the fabric of this country. We have a lot of ground to make up for when it comes to the history we learn. In addition, the political climate has become so hostile that some states and communities areactively excluding people of color from education.

I also find it important to note Black women’s history in these moments, because sexism does impact the way Black history is told. This year’s theme has a specific focus that supports this:
This year’s theme “Black Women in American Culture and History” honors African American women and the myriad of roles they played in the shaping of our nation. The theme, chosen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History urges all Americans to study and reflect on the value of their contribution to the nation.
What a refreshing focus, acknowledging the real intersection of race and gender in the African American community.


Theme of black history month 2013: The 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and commemoration of 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.

This year, the United States honors the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln's executive order to end slavery in America. The order was delivered on Jan. 1, 1863. The commemoration precedes the 100th anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s death, allowing the nation an ideal opportunity to reflect on the history of, and progress made in race relations

On January 1, 1863, as the nation entered its third year of civil war, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”

Despite this expansive wording, the Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It exempted many parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Union control. Most importantly, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.

Although its effects were gradual, the Emancipation Proclamation fundamentally transformed the Civil War from a war to save the Union into a war for freedom. It placed the issue of slavery squarely atop the wartime agenda, adding moral force to the Union cause and strengthening the Union militarily and politically. After January 1, 1863, every Union victory meant freedom for more people.

Theme of black history month 2014: The Golden Jubilee of the Civil Rights Act

In February 2014 Black History Month we celebrate The Golden Jubilee of the Civil Rights Act. Individuals, groups and organizations throughout the country will host a variety of activities to celebrate the continuing significance of the Act passed 50 years ago and the significant contributions African Americans have made throughout the history of the United States.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was landmark legislation created to improve quality of life for African Americans and other minority groups in the United States. Specifically, the legislation outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, national, ethnic and religious minorities, and women, in public accommodations, employment, and federally funded programs.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill on July 2, 1964, saying:

"We believe that all men are created equal yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain inalienable rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty yet millions are being deprived of those blessings, not because of their own failures, but because of the color of their skins.
Progress has been made to improve the quality of life for African Americans and other minority groups in the United States. The fact that Barack Obama is serving his second term as President of the United States says a lot about changing attitudes.

Theme of black history month 2015: A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture

Black History Month “A Century of Black Life, History and Culture”

Can you believe it’s been a century since the great writer and educator Dr. Carter G. Woodson proclaimed this month, Negro History Week 100 years of remembering the contributions of African American’s to the world. Still today, African American contributions are just as significant as a century ago. Bear in mind, that as we celebrate “A Century of Black Life, History and Culture”, we acknowledge that Black History is American History.

We take this time, Black History Month, to reflect upon the struggles and contribution made. It’s a time when we recognize the best in African Americans. Our achievements and perseverance over any obstacle. We pay homage this Black History Month to the over-comer’s from whence this country was built.

Over the past century, the recognition of African American contributions to life, history, and culture has become major forces in the United States and the world. In 1926, few could have imagined that African Americans people would be appreciated by a global community in entertainment, art, and literature. And even fewer could have predicted the prominence achieved by African Americans in shaping world politics, war, and diplomacy. Indeed, African American people play a major role in the unfolding of history and civilization itself. A century later, few can deny the centrality of African Americans in the making of American history.