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.

Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship
Application Deadlines: January 05, Annually
This scholarship is awarded in the Fall Semester to incoming freshmen who have outstanding academic records; have overcome economic or educational hardship and have a serious commitment to addressing issues of social justice as servant leaders or as scholars. This scholarship ranges from $6,500 to $8,500 and is renewable contingent upon maintaining a 3.0 GPA and actively participating in the Dr. [...] More

Martin Luther King School Dream Foundation
Application Deadlines: April 01, Annually
These awards are restricted to high school graduates and GED recipients who have attended the Martin Luther King Elementary School in Seattle, Washington, for a minimum of two years. Requirements for acceptance also include submission of an essay concerning the applicant's dreams for the future and demonstrated community service.

Awards are given to applicants who have been accepted for [...] More

Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Award
Application Deadlines: June 01, Annually
This award is presented in memory of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to commemorate his belief that progress is best achieved through cooperation rather than conflict, participation rather than partisanship, and compassion and understanding rather than hatred and prejudice.

The scholarship is awarded to minority nominees who have demonstrated a need and a willingness to continue an [...] More

NCAE Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship
Application Deadlines: March 31, Annually
NCAE Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship applicants must be in their senior year in high school and a North Carolina resident. The selection criteria is based on character, personality and scholastic achievement. Applicant must complete and mail an application package to the above address by March 31st. This is a $500 [...] More

Last Edited: November 2015

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