February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month – a time to recognize, learn about, and celebrate Black history! The theme of Black History Month 2024 is “African Americans and the Arts,” encouraging us to focus on Black excellence as it pertains to achievement through art, movies, music, television, writing, and more. Of course, being the PA Chamber, we also honor Black business leadership and the minority-owned businesses that make up the diverse, dynamic fabric of Pennsylvania’s local economies.

The Black experience is ingrained in the fabric of America because Black culture is American culture. As President Biden said in his National Black History Month proclamation this year, Black culture, stories, and triumphs are at the core of who we are as a nation. That is why shining a light on Black history is so crucial to understanding our country and growing stronger as one.

Black History Month was created in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, a historian who helped establish the field of African American studies and aimed to encourage Americans of “all ethnic and social backgrounds to discuss the Black experience.” He chose February for the then week-long observance because it coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, who played a significant role in helping to end slavery. The week was extended to a month in 1976, with President Gerald Ford calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

As we celebrate Black History Month, the PA Chamber is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We consider ourselves further enriched by the Black members of our talented team and membership. We encourage everyone to take time this month to educate themselves about Black History Month and the achievements of Black Americans of the past and present; enjoy the stories, art, food, and speakers who will share the Black experience; and visit this resource page to find out what you can do to support Black and minority-owned businesses across the Commonwealth.

To learn more about Black History Month, visit https://blackhistorymonth.gov/.