Black History Month 2024 and Beyond: Celebrating and Amplifying Black Lives Year-Round

Rowan University DEI Black History Month 2024 Graphic

Image Alternative Text: Depicted is a raised fist, representative of Black solidarity and the fight against racial injustice, against bright-colored green, yellow/gold, and red strips, symbolizing pride and unity. The colors depicted are similar to the colors used in many African flags, originating from the Ethiopian and Pan-African flags. The text against the strips reads, "Black History Month," and beneath the graphics reads, "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow" and "We Celebrate Black Lives Year-Round." The Rowan University Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) logo is positioned in the top right corner of the graphic, and the website link to "" is positioned at the bottom of the graphic.

Click here to download the graphic.


This article was written by the Rowan University Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) team ( Select content areas were originally written in February 2023 by the DEI team, and have since been updated for 2024.


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Celebrating and Amplifying Black Lives Year-Round

Black History Month is a time of acknowledgement, reflection, introspection, and inspiration, wherein the immeasurable contributions of Black individuals and communities to the United States are recognized and amplified. At Rowan University, we recognize that Black history and culture are to be celebrated and amplified—during Black History Month and year-round.1

In 1915, Dr. Carter G. Woodson recognized the lack of history and perspectives of African Americans in American curricula.2 As Dr. Woodson noted, the contributions of African Americans were "overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them."3 Dr. Woodson initiated and founded the "Association for the Study of Negro Life and Culture,"2 with a goal of ensuring Black history be made accessible to a greater audience.4 In 1916, he founded the scholarly journal, Journal of Negro History,2 now known as the Journal of African American History.5

In 1926, Dr. Woodson founded Negro History Week,2 with a goal of ensuring that young children in school become acquainted with Black history.4 This celebration eventually expanded into what is now known as Black History Month.2 Woodson tragically died in 1950.2 His life and legacy live on every February when children and adolescents study Black history. As our Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) shared last year, Black history cannot be contained within February. Dr. LaGarrett J. King, an internationally-recognized scholar of Black history education, wrote:

"When we say Black history is American history, we ignore a multitude of historical experiences and perspectives. History education continues to be largely Eurocentric, where diversifying the subject has been cosmetic and based on quantitative measurement. Vasquez, Brown, and Brown have called this phenomenon an 'illusion of inclusion,' in which Black historical actors and events might be present in the narrative but, qualitatively, their voices and experiences are ignored. For example, the narratives about Brown v. Board of Education celebrate aspects of integration yet fail to explore Black counternarratives."6

Dr. King further illustrates a lesson on Brown v. Board of Education:

"We continue to hold onto the idea that Black history is American history when we know that it is simply not true. Yes, the desired destination is for Black history to be American history, but that ideology reminds us that society simply does not take Black history or people seriously. Society ignores Black people's ideas, perspectives, pain, joy, and culture, all for assimilation. The process will take much time as we have been miseducated about Black people for centuries."6


Understanding the Full Humanity of Black Individuals and Communities

To disrupt whitewashed narratives of Black history, educators should strive to teach history through and from Black narratives and perspectives. Dr. King shared a framework for "Black Historical Consciousness Principles," consisting of six principles for integration in pedagogies and curricula: systemic power, oppression, and racism; agency, resistance, and perseverance; Africa and the African Diaspora; Black joy and love; Black identities; and Black historical contention.6 Dr. King challenges all educators to explore Black identity through complexities and nuances that seek to understand the full humanity of Black individuals and communities.

The six principles are expounded upon below.

  • Systemic Power, Oppression, and Racism: Black history cannot be taught without recognizing the multifaceted systems of oppression—including white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and racism. These systems of oppression are ever-present in U.S. history, systems, and society.
  • Agency, Resistance, and Perseverance: Black history cannot be taught without recognizing the agency, resistance, and perseverance of Black individuals and communities who fought back against oppressive structures and systems.
  • Africa and the African Diaspora: Black history should stress that narratives of Black individuals and communities should be contextualized within the African Diaspora. Black history curricula should begin with ancient African history and connect various Black histories around the world.
  • Black Joy and Love: Black history should center Black joy to include happiness, togetherness, and the fight for freedom for past and present generations.
  • Black Identities: Black history should not focus on only middle-class Black male, heterosexual, able-bodied, Christian individuals. It is critically important to recognize and amplify the full scope of multiple narratives of Black identities—across nationalities, ethnicities, gender identity, sexuality, neurodivergence, abilities, religions/spirituality, and socioeconomic status.
  • Black Historical Contention: Black historical contention is the recognition that Black histories are heavily complex. Difficult histories concerning slavery, racial segregation, and racial discrimination should be recognized and discussed.

Black History Month 2024 Events at Rowan University

Please join the Office of Social Justice, Inclusion, and Conflict Resolution (SJICR) and student-run organizations during events and activities this month on the Glassboro campus; at the Rowan–Virtua School of Osteopathic Medicine (Rowan–Virtua SOM); and at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU). The full listing is available via Rowan Today at this link.


Rowan University Community of Support for Employees and Students

Current and interested faculty and staff who identify as Black at Rowan University, including Rowan–Virtua SOM and CMSRU, are invited to join Black@Rowan, an employee affinity group aligned with the goals of the Division of DEI and that strives to create a supportive community of training, learning, advocacy, and self-care. To learn more about Black@Rowan and for meeting details, please email Kristen Barrett, Ph.D. at At Rowan, Dr. Barrett serves as Organic Chemistry Coordinator, Senior Lecturer of Chemistry/Biochemistry, and Chair of the Community for Underrepresented Faculty and Staff, at the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM).


Current and interested students who identify as Black at Rowan University are invited to join the following student-run groups:


Additional student groups at Rowan University that may be of interest include:


Resources for Continued Learning




  • Boutte, G. S., King, J. E., Johnson, G. L., & King, L. J. (Eds.). (2021). We Be Lovin' Black Children: Learning to be Literate About the African Diaspora. Myers Education Press.
  • King, L. J. (Ed.). (2019). Perspectives of Black Histories in Schools. IAP.
  • Cooper, B. (2018). Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower. St. Martin's Press.
  • Oluo, I. (2018). So You Want to Talk About Race. Seal Press.
  • Laymon, K. (2018). Heavy: An American Memoir. Simon and Schuster.
  • Mock, J. (2014). Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. Simon and Schuster.
  • Boggs, G. L., & Kurashige, S. (2012). The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century. Univ of California Press.
  • Alexander, M. (2011). The New Jim Crow. Ohio St. J. Crim. L., 9, 7.
  • Collins, P. H. (2000). Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Routledge.
  • Angelou, M. (1997). I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Bantam.
  • Alexander, M. J., & Mohanty, C. T. (Eds.). (1997). Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures. Routledge.
  • Tatum, B. D. (1997). Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race. Basic Books.
  • Lorde, A. (1984). Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches. Crossing Press.
  • Morrison, T., & Frankel, H. (1971). The Bluest Eye. 1970. New Yorker.
  • Baldwin, J. (1963). The Fire Next Time. Dial Press.
  • Hurston, Z. N. (1937). Their Eyes Were Watching God. J. B. Lippincott.



  • Griffith, M. W., & Freedman, M. (Hosts). School Colors. [Audio Podcast Series].
  • Kay, K. M., Gay, R., Rae, I., Nigatu, H., & Clayton, T. (Hosts). Historically Black. [Audio Podcast Series].
  • White, A. J., Wilkins, K., & Dupins, K. (Hosts). Blackbelt Voices. [Audio Podcast Series].


Social Media:



  1. Rowan University Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). @rowandei. Instagram, February 12, 2024,
  2. The Carter G. Woodson Institute. Carter Godwin Woodson (1875–1950). University of Virginia. Retrieved from on February 9, 2024.
  3. Civil Rights Leaders. Carter G. Woodson. National Association of the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP). Retrieved from on February 9, 2024.
  4. National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Knowing the Past Opens the Door to the Future: The Continuing Importance of Black History Month. Retrieved from on February 9, 2024.
  5. English, B. D. (Ed.). The Journal of African American History. The University of Chicago Press Journals. Retrieved from on February 9, 2024.
  6. King, L. J. (2020). Black History is Not American History: Toward a Framework of Black Historical Consciousness. Social Education, 84(6), 335–341.