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.
- 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.
Black Health and Wellness
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASAHL), our official partner, organizes a nationwide effort to celebrate Black History Month each year. During this Black History Month, the National Park Service and our partners are participating in conversations around this month's theme "Black Health and Wellness", With more than 400 national parks and National Park Service programs and partnerships working with communities across the country, there are endless opportunities to use these spaces for physical, mental, and spiritual health and wellbeing.
How do you use parks for health and wellbeing? Join the conversation and share your experiences on social media using #PowerOfParksForHealth, #HealthyParksHealthyPeople, and #BlackHistoryMonth.
Find a Park
There are more than 400 national parks across the country. Find a park where you can enjoy your chosen activity.
Power of Parks for Health Roundtable
Listen to a discussion hosted during last year's Black History Month as panelists share their personal stories and experiences.
Get Hooked on Parks
New to national parks? Try one of these "gateway activities" to ease into enjoying your public lands.
A Look Back at Black Health and Wellness
Origins 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.
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.
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.
Calendar of EventsSet the calendar to February to find in-person and virtual events, tours, festivities, and other programs hosted by national parks for Black History Month. Use this calendar to also look ahead to find more Black history and heritage programs throughout the year. Find tips to recreate responsibly when visiting a park.
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Stay up to date with National Park Service news for Black History Month and the work we do year-round to preserve and share Black history and heritage.
Last updated: February 14, 2022