Black History Month


Black History Month originated in 1926, when famed activist, writer and preeminent historian Carter G. Woodson influenced the American Historical Society to designate the second week of February as “Negro History Week.” Black History Month is now celebrated every February in recognition of the immense contributions of Black/African Americans. 

Black History Month serves as both a celebration and a powerful reminder that Black history is American history, Black culture is American culture, and Black stories are essential to our continued journey towards a better society, and to understanding ourselves and to growing stronger as a community. 


Mayor Mary Lou Pauly issued a proclamation at the Feb. 6 City Council meeting stating that February is Black History Month in the City of Issaquah.


Archiving the Global Black Experience: Howard University and the Preservation of History

  • Feb. 10, 12-1 p.m. 
  • Archives and libraries are essential resources for researching, preserving, and writing histories. The collections in these institutions are the product of countless choices that the stewards of these collections make over time. They decide what is worth preserving and what should be discarded. As a result, before historians, archivists determine the substance of historical reconstruction. What is the relationship between politics, culture, and historical preservation. In this talk, Dr. Benjamin Talton, director of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University, discusses the legacy of African American historical preservation and its impact on how we conceive and misconceive of history. Hosted by the University of Washington Jackson School. 

Documentary Screening: A Ballerina's Tale

  • Feb. 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Join the City of Issaquah at the Issaquah Depot Museum for a screening of the documentary A Ballerina’s Tale (2015) directed by Nelson George. Following the documentary, participate in a community conversation on representation of Black/African American men and women in various fields, especially corporate settings and government. Tickets are free but due to the limited number of seats, registration is required. Rated G.

Black History Month Research and Writing Workshop for High School Students

  • Northwest African American Museum (NAAM)

Black History Month Keynote Program

  • Feb. 16, 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Join the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) as we celebrate Black History Month. NAAM will hold an in-person riveting conversation with Dr. Damion Thomas, Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture Curator of Sports. Be inspired, informed, and ignited for action.

Octavia's First Afronaut: History, Resistance and Black Futures

  • Feb. 19, 2-3:15 p.m.
  • Octavia Butler scholar, Dr. Briana Whiteside, will provide insight into the author's earliest efforts to (re)imagine black women’s lives and futures by discussing the groundbreaking character Alanna, from Butler's novel, SurvivorSurvivor (1978), was not included in the re-published series compilation, Seed to Harvest (2007). Dr. Whiteside will talk about why that novel was rescinded (at Butler's request), and why the novel is an important touchstone in Butler's remarkable career. Please register online.

Precarious Lives of Free Blacks Pre-1865

  • Feb. 21, 6-7:15 p.m.
  • What was life like for Free Blacks prior to 1865? This presentation discusses how freedom was obtained pre-Emancipation in British, French and Spanish colonies as well as the new nation of the United States… Speaker Janice Lovelace, PhD, has more than thirty years of experience in genealogical research and has presented nationally on methodology, DNA, and ethnic minority genealogy. She is author of the National Genealogical Society's course African American Roots: A Historical Perspective. Please register online. 

Author Voices: Clyde W. Ford

Educational Resources

  • The King County Library System has curated a list of books celebrate African American history, culture and explore contemporary issues.
  • The Northwest African American Museum's exhibitions and programs feature the visual arts, music, crafts, literature and history of African Americans in the Northwest.
  • highlights a series of federally funded virtual discussions, book talks and other online events as well as resources to learn more about Black History Month.
  • The Library of Congress website contains numerous exhibits, books and programs related to Black History Month.
  • African Americans Reach & Teach Health Ministry (AARTH) provides training and capacity-building for faith, community-based organizations and medical institutions serving people of African descent.
  • Professional Women of Color Network is a business resource for all professional women of color in the Pacific Northwest to collaborate and empower.
  • Seattle Black MBA is a network for African American professionals creating economic and intellectual growth for African American communities.
  • Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle works in education, employment, health and housing with disenfranchised African American community.

Past Events