Black History Month Scholarships

Black History Month actually began as "Negro History Week", a week in February chosen to include the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. These particular dates were selected in order to ensure the week would not just focus on African Americans, but members of other races connected to the history of African Americans and of the United States as a whole. This week-long tribute was originally established by Carter G. Woodson back in 1926 and it wasn't until 1976, a full 50 years later, that this celebration of an essential part of our country’s history was expanded into the month-long event we recognize today.

At the time Black History Month began, most history books contained very little information about African Americans, with a few exceptions, such as George Washington Carver. Since its creation, Black History Month has played an important role in highlighting the important contributions of African Americans throughout history. It has been over thirty years since Negro History Week became Black History Month and the hope is held by many that one day it will no longer exist at all, that Black History will simply be part of American History and thus will be taught year-round.

To continue to fight the inequalities noted when Black History Month was created, numerous scholarship awards have been created to encourage students to learn, think, and write more extensively about Black History. While some Black History scholarships are scholarships for minorities, others are essay scholarships open to students of all backgrounds. In addition, many Black History scholarships are local scholarships, sponsored by an organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of the diversity in history among students in a particular city or state. A few Black History scholarships are listed below. To determine whether you’re eligible for these, as well as many other college scholarships and scholarship essay contests, conduct a free college scholarship search.

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Last Reviewed: July 2019

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