Come out to Rollins College Wellness Center for free HIV and Hep C testing on Feb. 13th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM!
What started as a week-long celebration of African American history in 1926 became an annual, month-long recognition of the accomplishments and achievements of Black U.S. citizens in 1976. President Gerald Ford commemorated the first official observance with these words:
“In the Bicentennial year of our Independence, we can review with admiration the impressive contributions of Black Americans to our national life.”
February was chosen because this month encompasses the birthdays of two men who are American symbols of freedom – Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass.
Ten years after its first official observance, Congress designated Black History Month by a joint resolution. The 1986 proclamation issued by President Ronald Reagan noted, “the foremost purpose of Black History Month is to make all Americans aware of this struggle for freedom and equal opportunity.”
Decades later, we are still celebrating the contributions of our Black community every February and all year long. Beginning in 1928, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASLAH) began choosing a theme for the month-long celebration every year. Themes for the last few years include:
2017 – The Crisis in Black Education
2018 – African Americans in Times of War
2019 – Black Migrations
2020 – African Americans and the Vote
2021 – The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity
2022 – Black Health and Wellness
The 2023 theme is Black Resistance.
Nearly two centuries ago, Rev. Henry Highland Garnett proposed that resistance is the only path to freedom, justice, equality, self-determination, and social transformation. In his words, “Let your motto be resistance! Resistance! RESISTANCE!”
Resisting discrimination, segregation, and other forms of being treated as less than others, Black individuals have achieved great successes. These strategies now serve as a model for other social movements across the country. You can join ASLAH in its virtual celebration all February long and join other Floridians in celebrations across Orlando.
Orlando City Hall Terrace Gallery
February 3 – April 20
Local artists showcase what Black Resistance means to them through their work.
Orange County Libraries
February 1 – 28
This month-long celebration includes the 33rd Annual National African American Read-In at Orlando’s downtown library.
Timuca Arts Foundation
February 24 and 26
Hear some of the area’s top talent in vocal and instrumental performances celebrating Black American Music.
This tour will be a guided celebration of our local African American residents.
We love joining our community and celebrating the accomplishments of Black individuals across Central Florida. We also know that the Black community can be underserved regarding healthcare options, which is why we offer healthcare screenings and treatments to everyone!
For our dedicated staff, celebrating Black History Month includes providing healthcare opportunities beyond testing and treatment. We feel it’s essential to connect people with the resources they need, whether it’s telehealth, employment assistance, food resources, or transportation services. Contact us with questions or stop by one of our clinics to meet our staff. We look forward to serving you!