Inspired by something you've learned or have a memorable national park experience to share? Join the conversation on social media using #BlackHistoryMonth and #FindYourPark or #EncuentraTuParque.
Sharing History & Heritage
Discover Black history and cultural heritage shared in national parks and communities across the country.
The history and heritage of Black Americans are preserved and shared in many parks across the country. Explore some featured places.
Find distance learning opportunities, lesson plans, and other educational material about history and heritage for all age groups.
- 4 minutes, 25 seconds
Developed by a group of NPS staff and interns, this film explores the trauma, resilience, and beauty of the African American experience in our country.
Additional information about this event is available throughout this webpage.
The Power of Parks for Health
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the partnership between the National Park Service and the US Public Health Service, we are hosting a year-long series of educational and celebratory events to share the history of the partnership, highlight the role of public health in parks, and launch efforts to begin planning for a health focused future. During Black History Month, join us for a virtual Power of Parks for Health. Panelists - Black History Month Roundtable on February 25 from 6:30 pm to 8 pm ET hosted in partnership with the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF).
The Beginnings of Black History Month
Black History Month, or African American History Month, began as a weeklong celebration in 1926. Since the 1890s, Black communities celebrated the birthdays of two people considered to have a big impact on Black history in the US: Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and Frederick Douglass (February 14). In 1915, Dr. Carter G. Woodson was one of many people who traveled to Washington, DC, to participate in a national celebration of the 50th anniversary of nationwide emancipation. He was inspired by experiences from his trip to create an organization to promote the study of Black life and history. Soon after he helped to form what is now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the sponsors of Black History Month.
Dr. Woodson dedicated his life to institutionalizing the field of Black history, including by advocating that it be a regular part of formal education. In 1926, he created the celebration of "Negro History Week" during the second week of February timed with the birthdays of Lincoln and Douglass. Dr. Woodson and other advocates provided educational materials each year, such as lesson plans, pictures, scripts for historical performances, and posters. Fifty years later, the weeklong celebration became a month long and has been recognized by presidential proclamation every year since.
Carter G. Woodson Home NHS
Walk in the footsteps of Dr. Carter where Black History Month began in his DC home and headquarters.
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House NHS
The National Council of Negro Women in DC helped promote "Negro History Week" and created a national archive for Black women's history.
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History, our official partner, continues to organize a nationwide effort to celebrate Black History Month and recommends themes each year. During this Black History Month, the National Park Service and our partners are exploring stories about Black families, representation, identity, and diversity of past and present as told through national parks and through our programs and partnerships.
This Month's National Park Getaway
Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio remembers the legacy of legendary soldiers and a distinguished American leader.
A short film woven together by a poem explains the epic story of an enduring town founded by former enslaved Americans settling in Kansas.
Black Women and the Fight for Equality
Black women have always served on the front-line in the fight for equality. Follow the journeys of some influential advocates in US history.
A Great-Granddaughter's Reflections
One hundred years later, Michelle Duster reflects on the the life and legacy of prominent civil rights leader Ida B. Wells.
Retracing the Path of Bayard Rustin
An organizer of iconic protests during the Civil Rights Movement, Rustin advocated for Black and LBGTQ communities.
Engaging with Cowpoke History
Learn more about Black cowboys and cowgirls making a life out in the American West during the 19th century.
Homesteaders on the Great Plains
Explore the places and personal journeys of Black Americans homesteading throughout all the Great Plains states during the 19th century.
Black History in the Last Frontier
A new publication explores the achievements and contributions of Alaska's Black community while they endured many challenges.
Every American's Conflict
A short film explores the experiences and contributions of African Americans in Chickamauga before, during, and after the Civil War.
Story Keeper of the 54th Massachusetts
After serving in the famous 54th Massachusetts Regiment, Luis Emilio published a book to share the story a "A Brave Black Regiment."
Youth Diving With a Purpose
Black youth are training in underwater archeology to make sure maritime heritage and people's stories are not forgotten, ignored, or lost.
Conversations About Representation, Identity, and Diversity
The National Park Foundation, an official partner of the National Park Service, explored ways people tell stories to interpret history, reflect on their journeys, and make personal connections with parks. .
10 Parks that Honor Black History
Explore ten parks that share African Americans’ contributions to our history and culture interwoven into our collective national heritage.
Four African American Suffragists
Anacostia Park reflects on the 19th Amendment and women’s suffrage by remembering a few influential leaders in the movement.
Making "Twenty & Odd"
A group of National Park Service filmmakers shows what happens when stories are told by the people closest to them.
An Artistic Journey of a Park Ranger
Artist Elijah Prince talks about his art series depicting a woman “growing” through national parks and becoming a park ranger.
Beyond the Written Word
Join a Q&A with Harriet Tubman NHP Intern Journee Harris as she shares why oral history is so important.
How to Get Your Nature Swagger Back
Outdoor Afro’s Rue Mapp is empowering the next generation to not only discover the outdoors but also become outdoor leaders.
Freedom and Hope at Camp Nelson
Discover Camp Nelson National Monument, which served as a major emancipation site and refugee camp during the Civil War.
Take A Walk In His Footsteps
Follow the footsteps of civil rights activist and leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through national parks.
The 19th Amendment and Beyond
August 26, 2020, marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution that gave women the legal right to vote but did not always protect every woman's right to vote in practice. In commemoration of the centennial, we are exploring the complex history involving Americans of all backgrounds fighting for and against women voting. Read stories about people's roles in the suffrage movement and beyond as the struggle for civil rights and to open more doors in civic engagement continued.
Suffrage in Sixty Seconds Video
In this episode, learn how Black men and women ensured their voices were heard when marginalized in the fight for equality.
"The Agitators" Podcast Series
This podcast series tells of the enduring but complex friendship of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass as they fought for civil rights.
A Continuing Tradition of Service
Before the creation of the National Park Service in 1916, predominantly Black US Army calvary regiments known as "Buffalo Soldiers" served as the first rangers for the country's new national parks. In the summer of 1903, Captain Charles Young became the first Black national park superintendent when his troops were tasked to manage and protect Sequoia National Park. Today a tradition of service continues with employees, volunteers, interns, and partners in many National Park Service career fields, including natural and cultural resource management, law enforcement, interpretation, administration, and much more.
Become an Employee
Learn more about permanent and seasonal jobs with the National Park Service in a wide range of career fields.
Help care for your national parks by volunteering during a one-time event or on a reoccurring basis.
Create possibilities to preserve America's treasures in national parks and communities across the country for all Americans to enjoy.
Jumpstart a career through internship programs to get hands-on experience in a variety of career fields.
Spotlight on Mosaics in Science
The Mosaics in Science Internship Program provides youth from under-represented communities experience in natural resource science careers.
Spotlight on HBCUI Program
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship Program gets participants engaged in stewardship of public lands.
Featured Parks and Places
More than 400 years of Black history and heritage is found in national parks or shared through National Park Service programs and partners in communities across the country. While we commemorate Black History Month with this year's theme, here are some parks and places with conversations about representation, identity, and diversity.
"We Shall Overcome" Travel Itinerary
Connect churches, private residences, and public sites of protest that spoke to the history of the African American Civil Rights Movement.
Travel Florida Shipwrecks
The Diving with a Purpose program and other underwater archeologists are part of an effort to document shipwrecks off the Florida coast.
Last updated: February 19, 2021