Black History Month Programs

In celebration of Black History Month 2023, the Historic Homes of National Capital Parks-East: Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, and Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, are offering programming related to this year's National Theme of "Black Resistance in the Past, Present, and Future".

Frederick Douglass sits for portrait wearing suit
Frederick Douglass, ca. 1890

Library of Congress

Frederick Douglass Birthday Celebration

Saturday, February 11th | 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Capital Turnaround, 770 M Street, S.E. (entrance on 7th Street, S.E.)

This annual program to celebrate Frederick Douglass includes music by the Jubilee Voices of the Washington Revels, performances by the student winners of the Douglass Oratorical Contest and a light-hearted debate style program that asks the question “What place did Frederick Douglass call home?” Douglass lived in 3 states and the District of Columbia during his lifetime and while it’s impossible to ask Douglass this question, our panelists will support their positions in the debate, and we’ll let the audience decide! The doors open early at 12:30 pm and we’ll have music by DC Strings, exhibitors, learn about Frederick Douglass’ interest in D.C.’s streetcars and take a selfie with Frederick Douglass.

Reservations are not required.

Carter G. Woodson sits for portrait wearing suit
Dr. Carter G. Woodson, ca. 1920s


Walk with Woodson

Saturday, February 18 | 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Visitors will get a rare chance to honor Black History Month by literally walking in the footsteps of its founder, Dr. Carter G. Woodson. In this spellbinding first person delivery, "Dr. Woodson" will take visitors on an interpretive journey to Dr. Woodson's residence in the Shaw Neighborhood. The procession will be led by noted actor, Darius Wallace, portraying Dr. Woodson who will highlight places relating to his contemporaries as A. Philip Randolph, Nannie Helen Burroughs and Belford Lawson (to name a few).  The program concludes with Dr. Woodson's explanation of why he created Negro History Week and how YOU can prepare for it!

Reservations required and may be made by emailing

Mary McLeod Bethune sits for portrait with scroll in hand
Mary McLeod Bethune, ca. 1939

Scurlock Collection
Archives Center, Smithsonian NMAH

The NCNW and Local Leadership in Depression-Era and Wartime Washington, D.C.

Saturday, February 25 | Noon to 1:00 pm

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS, 1318 Vermont Avenue, N.W.

The Great Depression and early years of World War II represented a transformative historical moment. For African Americans, particularly those in southern cities like Washington, D.C., these years presented newfound opportunities to press vigorously (and in new ways) for equality and end to racial discrimination. Join us as historian Dr. David Taft Terry of Morgan State University discusses the role played by activists associated with the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) in the milieu of social justice projects attempted during this period. Following the program, rangers will be giving tours of the home. Due to limited seating capacity, this program will be able to be viewed live via Microsoft Teams.

Reservations are required for both in-person seating and to view on-line. Email for reservations.

Logo for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. (ASALH)


Additional Resources

Each year, a national Black History Theme is selected by the organization that Dr. Carter G. Woodson established in 1915, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. (ASALH). The 2023 National Theme is: "Black Resistance in the Past, Present, and Future". For more information on the theme and ASALH's Black History Month Virtual Festival, visit here.

Every February during Black History Month and throughout the year, the National Park Service and our partners share stories, rich culture, and an invitation for all Americans to reflect on Black history in parks and communities across the country. Learn more here.

Click here to view the the White House's Presidential Proclamation on National Black History Month 2023.
Three cell phones with social media logos on their screens

Be sure to follow the Historic Homes of National Capital Parks-East on Social Media throughout Black History Month for interesting content! #FindYourPark #BlackHistoryMonth #NACEHistoricHomes

Frederick Douglass NHS
Twitter @FredDouglassNPS
Instagram @FrederickDouglassNPS

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS
Twitter @BethuneNHS
Instagram @BethuneNHS

Carter G. Woodson Home NHS
Twitter @WoodsonNHS

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Last updated: February 4, 2023

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