The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) has chosen to highlight the Black Health and Wellness as the 2022 Black History Month theme. Founded in 1915 by Carter G. Woodson, known as the "Founder of Black History," ASALH first promoted discussion of the black experience by people of all ethnic and social backgrounds through the formation of Negro History Week in 1926. This went on to expand to include the entire month of February in 1976.¹ ASALH lists past themes since 1928 on its website. The 2022 theme considers activities, rituals and initiatives that Black communities have done to be well.
In order to foster good health and wellness Black people have embarked on self-determination, mutual aid and social support initiatives to build hospitals, medical and nursing schools (i.e. Meharry Medical College, Howard University College of Medicine, Provident Hospital and Training School, Morehouse School of Medicine, etc.) and community clinics. Clinics were established by individuals, grassroots organizations and mutual aid societies, such as the African Union Society, National Association of Colored Women and Black Panther Party, to provide spaces for Black people to counter the economic and health disparities and discrimination that are found at mainstream institutions. These disparities and anti-Blackness led to communities developing phrases such as “When white folks catch a cold, Black folks get pneumonia.” Initiatives to help decrease disparities have centered several outcomes, including having more diverse practitioners and representation in all segments of the medical and health programs including such as the Ronald E. McNair Scholars. Even the impact of popular culture texts like Doc McStuffins cannot be dismissed.²
For more information on this year's theme, visit ASALH's the Black History Themes page.
The Library holds several resources related to the Black Health and Wellness theme. To find some library materials about Black Health and Wellness, check out the Resources page.
When searching the library's online catalog, researchers of this year's theme may find the following search terms useful:
¹ Association for the Study of African American Life and History. "Our History." https://asalh.org/about-us/our-history/ (Accessed Jan. 24, 2022)
²__. "Black History Themes." https://asalh.org/black-history-themes/ (Accessed Jan. 24, 2022)