Black History Month was conceived and founded by historian Carter G. Woodson, according to Howard University's Daryl Michael Scott, writing in an essay for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. It made its first appearance as Negro History Week in 1925. The next year's celebration was chosen to occur during the week in February that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Warmly embraced, the event quickly become a central part of African-American life. The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial, by President Gerald R. Ford.
Today, Mount Holyoke celebrates Black History Month through programs that honor African and black American ancestry, recognizing the present and reflecting on the future. The events are coordinated by the Association of Pan-African Unity (APAU) student organization.