2024: A Stitch in Time

African Americans' Impact on Fashion Design 

From the 1600s to today, the fashion industry has been profoundly and enduringly influenced by the Black community.


2023: Sounds of the City

Black Americans have made outstanding contributions to some of the world’s most famous musical genres. Let’s celebrate a few of these music giants for whom DC served as a launchpad. Learn more about R&B legend Marvin Gaye, jazz singer Shirley Horn, king of go-go music Chuck Brown and more. Now don’t you feel like “Bustin’ Loose”? We know we do!

2023 Black History Month Poster Calendar Image

2022: Black Innovators in Sports

Since ancient times, cultures across the world have delighted in the creativity and skill of games. Black Americans continue to be visionaries and creators in this arena including groundbreaking inventions in traditional sports and exemplary leadership on and off the field of play. In today’s emerging field of computer gaming, young people like you are tackling underrepresentation onscreen as game characters and behind the screen as game programmers and software designers. What will you think of next? Game on!

2022 Black History Month Poster Image

2021: Living the Next Chapter

Our Black History Calendar spotlights current history makers who have made local and national impacts in sports, entertainment, arts, and social justice.  They share with us experiences that helped shaped their lives, challenges they overcame, and choices they made that helped them in their journey in becoming the living history makers they are today. Each profile includes a special message of encouragement. While reading their stories, know that you the author of your next chapter. What will you write?

Living the Next Chapter - 2021 Black History Month Calendar

2020: Foundation for the Nation

Black Americans and the Building of Our Nation's Capital

Our nation's capital is a city of monuments, museums and characteristic neighborhoods. From pre-Civil War construction to the present, many have contributed to the District of Columbia's physical evolution. Let's explore some of the people and places that have left indelible imprints on the District's landscape. 

2020 Black History Month Poster: Foundation for the Nation

2019: DC All-Stars - Celebrating Black American Sports Figures Who Give Back to DC

From high school legends to professional league victors, the nation's capital has fostered a stellar array of athletic champions. No city celebrates home teams like the District of Columbia. Whether the team of choice hurls pigskin, dunks a ball, or swings a racket--DC fans wear their jerseys, display their colors, cheer their successes and mourn their defeats with passion and pride. Washington, D.C. sports enthusiasts are all in the game. Though they represent different teams, the "all-stars" featured in this year's Black History calendar share a common goal: excellence in performance on the court and in our community.  

2019 Black History Month Poster: DC All Stars

2018: Celebrating Neighborhoods of the District of Columbia

Historic Black American Presence in Washington, D.C.'s Neighborhoods

Washington, D.C. was declared the nation's capital in 1790. In 1791, Benjamin Banneker-freeman, astronomer, and scietist-was commissioned to assist in surveying the design of our country's new seat of government. This would include the layout of the parks, buildings, and streets that would become part of the landscape of our city. Since that time and before, Black Americans have made Washington, D.C. home. The 2018 Black History Calendar takes a look at some of the places the walked. See if you have traveled those same paths. 

2018 Black History Month Calendar: Celebrating Neighborhoods of the District of Columbia

2016: Liberty and Justice for All

Marches that Evoked Change

The National Mall has been the crowning destination for those seeking to impact the United States' political and social direction since the late 1890s. Whether to stir out country's moral conscience with an Easter Sunday Serenade, quicken its quest for 'justice for all' with a march for jobs and freedom, or redress our collective responsibility to one another--African Americans have made use of 'America's front yard,' to forward our nation's goals for democracy and shared liberties. 

2016: Liberty and Justice for All: marches that Evoked Change

2015: Heroes: African Americans in Espionage

"Every shut eye ain't sleep," is an African American proverb that aptly introduces the men and women profiled herein. African Americans have been active agents in the defense of American freedom on the frontlines and behind the scenes of every American military conflict. 

Those outline here are a small representation of the brave efforts enacted by African Americans in this arena. The reader is encouraged to explore the Dabney husband and wife team of Virginia who used a simple clothes line as a method of communicating important Confederate movements to the Union command. Research the Black Dispatches who shuttled information to aid Union forces during the Civil War. And, discover the heroic labors of figures such as Robert Smalls who seized a Confederate ship and with crew and family sailed to freedom and the safety of the Union fleet in Charleston, S.C.

While the nature of their efforts required a cloak of secrecy, their stories are numerous and varied. What is shared is their collective courage, loyalty, and opposition to tyranny.

2015: Heroes: African Americans in Espionage

2014: With these Hands | African Americans in Medicine

2014: With these Hands | African Americans in Medicine

2013: Emancipation Proclamation, Celebrating 150 Years

2013: Emancipation Proclamation, Celebrating 150 Years

2012: Lifting a Nation - Black Women in Politics

Fearless, they decried the wrons of slavery before abolition. Righteous, they claimed the right to vote while disenfranchised. Bold, they sought the highest office in the land when few thought it plausible. Whether as the voice of dissention, the tenor of a movement, or a nameless member in the chorus for a valiant and courageous cause--the presence of Black women in American politics is undeniable, embedded, and enduring. 

The selection of women profiled does not begin to represent the breadth of the contributions made by Black women in the sphere of American politics. 

2012: Lifting a Nation - Black Women in Politics

2010: Tell it Like it is

Black American Media Pioneers

A principle of journalism is to report objectively and without bias. In this context, objectivity is akin to neutrality. However, from its early beginnings, the expression of Blacks in journalism have decried the evils of slavery, the injustices of Jim Crow, and the indignities of discrimination. This examination highlights only a few of the countless brave men and women--known and forgotten--who have lifted their pens and microphones to give voice to the voiceless and broaden the goal of freedom for all.

2010: Tell it Like it is