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 Deadline: 1/5/2018
  • Amount: $8,500
  • 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-$8,500 and is renewable.

    Eligibility:
    -Must attend MLK community bi-weekly meetings
    -MLK [...] More

Martin Luther King School Dream Foundation

  • Application Deadline: 4/1/2018
  • Amount: Varies
  • The Martin Luther King School Dream Foundation was organized to provide scholarships for students who received high school diplomas or GED's no earlier than spring 1999; had a minimum two years' attendance at Martin Luther King Elementary School; have been accepted into a program at any accredited post-secondary school; have written an essay about their career and future dreams, and can document [...] More

Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Award

  • Application Deadline: 6/1/2017
  • Amount: $1,000
  • The scholarship is awarded to minority nominees who have demonstrated a need and a willingness to continue an educational mission toward a college education or graduate training related to a career in the criminal justice field.

    All nominees must describe in a short essay (250 words, double-spaced) their reflections on the ideals and philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King, and how they have [...] More

NCAE Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 2/6/2018
  • Amount: Varies
  • The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Scholarship was established in 1992 by the North Carolina Association of Educators
    Minority Affairs Commission under the auspices of the Human and Civil Rights Commission. It continues in partnership
    with the North Carolina Foundation for Public School Children. Scholarship awards are based on the amount of money
    received annually through donations and the [...] More

Last Reviewed: May 2017

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