Center for Multicultural Initiatives (CMI)

North Foundation Hall, Room 104
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309
(location map)
(248) 370-4404

Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m

African American Celebration Month

African American Celebration Month


African American History Month is an annual observance for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February. 

African American History Month had its beginnings in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson announced the second week of February to be "Negro History Week". This week was chosen because it marked the birthday of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Woodson created the holiday with the hope that it eventually be eliminated when black history became fundamental to American history. 

Negro History Week grew in popularity throughout the following decades, with mayors across the United States endorsing it as a holiday. Led by the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University in February of 1969 African American History week was expanded from a week to a month. The first celebration of African American History Month occurred at Kent State University in February of 1970. Six years later during the bicentennial (1976), the expansion of Negro History Week to African American History Month was recognized by the U.S. government. 

African-American History Month at Oakland University kicks off each year on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. This month long celebration reflects OU’s ongoing commitment to celebrating the historical and cultural contributions that African Americans have made in the past, present and future.


2019 African American Celebration month planning is underway. Check back later for event information. 

2019 African American Celebration Month Committee
Kendra Agee
Pre-College Programs

Latasha Curry
Student Business Services

Flavio Di Stefano
Student Program Board
Jewel Fisher
Association of Black Students
Anita Hicks
Oakland Center
Destinee Rule
Oakland University Student Congress

Denise Thompkins-Jones
Center for Multicultural Initiatives

VaNessa Thompson
Center for Multicultural Initiatives

Tiffany Williams
Pre-College Programs

Grace Wojcik
Gender and Sexuality Center

Lawrence Young
Center for Multicultural Initiatives


2018 Sponsors:

  • Office of the Provost
  • School of Nursing
  • School of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Integrative Studies
  • Black Employee Resource Group
  • Oakland University Student Congress