Celebrating Black History Month 2023 

February 08, 2023
2023 Black History Month

Each year since 1976, every American president has designated February as Black History month and endorsed a specific theme. According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (, “the intention has never been to dictate or limit the exploration of the Black experience, but to bring to the public’s attention important developments that merit emphasis.”  

The theme designated for 2023, “Black Resistance,” explores how “African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression, in all forms.” W. Marvin Dulaney, president of ASALH stated in explanation of this year’s theme "with resistance there is an implied understanding of oppression, and it seems to be a segment of the population who do not want to admit those historical facts." He goes on to say "yet, resistance helps us understand the power that Black people have in terms of their historical realities, which counters the concept of victimhood that many say drives Black History education."

You can read a more extensive discussion of the theme here, and participate in the ASALH Black History Month Virtual Festival which includes a number of talk and events celebrating the theme and taking place throughout the month here.

In addition, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C. has curated a number of exhibits and stories which complement the theme and can be virtually explored online on the museum’s website.

Mary Elliott, the museum’s curator of slavery and freedom, discusses the origin of Black History Month, its significance, and delves into this year’s theme in the video shared below.