Every February, we honor the history, achievements, and legacies of Black Americans during Black History Month. The month is an important time to put focus on education and recognition of the tremendous impact African Americans’ have had in our country and Commonwealth throughout history.

The theme for Black History Month 2023 is Black Resistance. This year’s theme celebrates the rejection of a status quo of oppression, segregation, and discrimination. It calls for all Americans to recognize the trailblazers AND everyday women and men who did not stand for injustice and instead fought for civil rights and equality at all levels of society and life.

“By resisting Black people have achieved triumphs, successes, and progress as seen in the end of chattel slavery, dismantling of Jim and Jane Crow segregation in the South, increased political representation at all levels of government, desegregation of educational institutions, the passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964, the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History in DC and increased and diverse representation of Black experiences in media.”.”

There are many ways to recognize Black History Month and Black Resistance in Pennsylvania. Take time to read about influential African Americans from Pennsylvania who shaped history. Individuals like James Lawson (born in Uniontown)Bayard Rustin (born in West Chester), and C.Delores Tucker (born in Philadelphia) committed themselves to resistance and the belief that all men and women are created equal. Their work impacted the trajectory of civil rights and overall, the future of our Commonwealth and country.


Look up ways to get involved in your community. Martin Luther King, Jr. highlighted the great power we all have to influence change in our communities at a grassroots level. Honor the legacy of Dr. King and all African American leaders who contributed to progress by supporting organizations who continue the fight for Black equality, equity, and justice. 

For more information on this year’s Black History Month theme, visit the website for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.