Black History Month, 1989 – Present
National Black History Month was created by Dr. Carter Goodwin Woodson, a noted African-American historian, scholar, and educator who originally penned it as “Negro History Week.” In 1926, the Omega Psi Fraternity, Incorporated was the first organization to sanction Negro History Week when it was brought to conclave which gave it a national presence. However, it was not until 1976 that Negro History Week became a month-long celebration. People often inquire as to why February, the shortest month of the year, was chosen as Black History Month. The reason is that it coincides with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.i
The Black History Month Celebration on the Westfield State University campus is organized by many people each year. Among the committee and sponsors are The President’s Office, the Westfield University Foundation, Multicultural Affairs, Sankofa, Campus Activities, Academic Advising Center, Residential Life, Facilities and Operations, Sodexho, the Urban Education Gospel Choir, The Poetry Team, and the Third World Organization. There are also many faculty and staff members who contribute to this event.
The Westfield University Archives has material from celebrations dating from 1989 to the present. The Black History Month Collection has materials from 1991 to the present. The Jeanne M. Julian Collection has materials from 1989 to about 2003. The materials included in this collection are programs, organizations materials from committee member Jeanne M. Julian, advertisements and press releases, brochures, activity schedules, and announcements. Throughout the archives there are also some library materials about the resources that the library made available for Black History Month and a photograph of United States Attorney, Wayne Budd who spoke at the college in 1991.
Most materials are arranged by date unless otherwise noted.
Access to this collection must comply with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. code). Photocopying of this material is governed under this law and one of the specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship or research.” Westfield State University reserves the right to reject a copying order, if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve a violation of copyright law.
i From correspondence from Azanda Seymour, to the facstaff list. February 4, 2010. Westfield University Archives.
A list of these materials will be provided upon request.