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Join us in celebrating Black History Month with events across Central Florida. Here, we turn back the pages to the origins of the month-long celebration and show you how you can get involved.
The Origins Of Black History Month
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 Is Chosen
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.”
Black History Month Themes
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:
2019 – Black Migrations
2022 – Black Health and Wellness
The 2023 theme is Black Resistance.
Origin Of The “Black Resistance” Theme
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.
Black Resistance Exhibit
Orlando City Hall Terrace Gallery
February 3 – April 20
Local artists showcase what Black Resistance means to them through their work.
Black History Month Events
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.
What’s Up Downtown Parramore Historic Bus Trolley Tour
This tour will be a guided celebration of our local African American residents.
Harmony Healthcare Orlando Celebrates Black History All Year
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!