Ultimate Calendar of Holidays of Interest To Black Americans

Black calendar on colorful background, representing African American holidays

Every month at Good Good Good, we plan upcoming good news content for our Instagram, Goodnewsletter, Goodnewspaper, podcast, website, and more. Our work is always centered on hopeful stories about people making a difference in the world — and action steps on how each of us can join in with that good work.

With so many holidays, awareness days, education weeks, and activism months happening all year long, we’ve been slowly collecting all of these events in a private internal calendar for years.

We made our Monthly Cause Awareness Calendar publicly available earlier this year. We’ve also published:

And now we’re publishing our guide to Black and African American holidays!

Our hope is this resource will help you or your organization bring attention to these important days — not just around MLK Day, Black History Month, and Juneteenth — but all year long.

Black and African American holidays are an important way to celebrate and honor the rich history and culture of the Black community. The holidays included in this guide recognize the contributions and achievements of Black leaders, activists, and thinkers — as well as the ongoing struggle for equality and justice.

Where applicable, we’ve included resources around highlighted holidays — usually in the form of good news around particular topics, relevant quotes or recommendations, or action steps on how to make a difference. We encourage you to share them if you find them helpful.

We’ve worked hard to make this the most comprehensive collection of Black and African American days and months on the internet. Always double-check dates, as organizers may occasionally change dates and details.

Bookmark this page and revisit it as often as you need. We’ll continue to update it and add to it over time.

Major Black Holidays

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

3rd Monday in January

This national holiday marks the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King is, of course, best known for his role in the Civil Rights Movement and his use of nonviolent civil disobedience to fight for the rights of African Americans and poor people. This day came to be celebrated as a federal holiday thanks to the tireless work of his wife, Coretta Scott King. 

How To Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

The Best Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

The Best Coretta Scott King Quotes

Black History Month

February 1 - February 28 

This annual observance recognizes the contributions and achievements of Black Americans throughout history. It was first officially recognized by the United States government in 1976, and is celebrated in February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. 

How To Celebrate Black History Month

The Best Black History Month Quotes


June 19

Short for “June nineteenth,” Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas and announced that all enslaved people in Texas were free. This was more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln, marking the end of slavery in the United States. 

How To Celebrate Juneteenth


December 26 - January 1 

This holiday was created in the 1960s as a way to celebrate and honor African American culture and heritage. It is based on African harvest festivals and is celebrated with a series of seven principles, or Nguzo Saba, which focus on values such as unity, self-determination, and collective work and responsibility.

Independence Days for African Countries

For people with a personal connection to various African countries and cultures, it’s common to celebrate the anniversary of claiming independence from colonial powers.

We’ve collected a table of independence days for a number of African nations:

Country Indep. Day Indep. From
Algeria Jul 5, 1962 France
Angola Nov 11, 1975 Portugal
Benin Aug 1, 1960 France
Botswana Sep 30, 1966 UK
Burkina Faso Aug 5, 1960 France
Burundi Jul 1, 1962 Belgium
Cape Verde Jul 5, 1975 Portugal
Cent. African Republic Aug 13, 1960 France
Chad Aug 11, 1960 France
Comoros Jul 6, 1975 France
Democratic Republic of Congo Jun 30, 1960 Belgium
Djibouti Jun 27, 1977 France
Egypt Feb 28, 1922 UK
Equatorial Guinea Oct 12, 1968 Spain
Eritrea May 24, 1991 Ethiopia
Eswatini (Swaziland) Sep 6, 1968 UK
Ethiopia Mar 2, 1896 Italy
Gabon Aug 17, 1960 France
The Gambia Feb 18, 1965 UK
Ghana Mar 6, 1957 UK
Guinea Oct 2, 1958 France
Guinea-Bissau Sep 24, 1973 Portugal
Ivory Coast Aug 7, 1960 France
Kenya Dec 12, 1964 UK
Lesotho Oct 4, 1966 UK
Liberia Jul 26, 1847 American Colonization Society
Libya Dec 24, 1951 UK
Madagascar Jun 26, 1960 France
Malawi Jul 6, 1964 UK
Mali Sep 22, 1960 France
Mauritania Nov 28, 1958 France
Mauritius Mar 12, 1968 UK
Morocco Nov 18, 1955 France
Mozambique Jun 25, 1975 Portugal
Namibia Feb 9, 1990 South Africa
Niger Aug 3, 1960 France
Nigeria Oct 1, 1960 UK
Rwanda Jul 1, 1962 Belgium
São Tomé & Príncipe Jul 12, 1975 Portugal
Senegal Apr 4, 1960 France
Seychelles Jun 29, 1976 UK
Sierra Leone Apr 27, 1961 UK
Somalia Jul 1, 1960 UK
South Africa May 31, 1910 UK
South Sudan Jul 9, 2011 Sudan
Sudan Jan 1, 1956 UK
Tanzania Dec 9, 1961 UK
Togo Apr 27, 1960 France
Tunisia Mar 20, 1956 France
Uganda Oct 9, 1962 UK
Zambia Oct 24, 1964 UK
Zimbabwe Apr 18, 1980 UK

All Black and African American Holidays and Observances


Last Day of Kwanzaa - January 1 

Learn about what Kwanzaa means for Black Americans

Anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation - January 1

Haitian Independence Day - January 1 

George Washington Carver Day - January 5

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday - January 15 

Read the best quotes (beyond ‘I have a dream’) from Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day - 3rd Monday of January

Learn about how to meaningfully celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Civil Rights Day - 3rd Monday of January

Learn about and watch the 50 most essential civil rights speeches in American history


Black History Month - February

Learn about how to intentionally celebrate Black History Month with these ideas and activities

Rosa Parks’ Birthday - February 4 

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - February 7 

Read good news about progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS

Black Love Day - February 13 

Frederick Douglass Day - February 14

W. E. B. Du Bois Day - February 23


Crispus Attucks Day / Boston Massacre Day - March 5

Harriet Tubman Day - March 10

Anniversary of the first Black Newspaper in America - March 16

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination - March 21

Read Good Good Good’s collection of racial justice articles and good news stories


National Minority Health Month - April

Black Maternal Health Week - April 11 - April 17

Pan-African Week - Last week of April

Jackie Robinson Day - April 15

Emancipation Day - April 16


African Liberation Week - Week-long event in May

John Lewis Day of Action - May 8 

Read the best quotes from John Lewis

Anniversary of the School Desegregation Ruling - May 17

Malcolm X’s Birthday - May 19 

Read the best quotes about justice from Malcolm X

Malcolm X Day - 3rd Friday of May

Africa Day - May 25 


African American Music Appreciation Month - June

National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week - Week-long event in June

Loving Day - June 12 

African New Year / Odunde Festival - 2nd Sunday of June

Juneteenth - June 19

Learn about how to thoughtfully celebrate Juneteenth


BIPOC Mental Health Month - July

Explore our guide to mental health resources and our guide to mental health apps and resources for Black Americans

African Women’s Liberation Week - July 16 - July 27

Nelson Mandela Day - July 18

Read the best quotes from Nelson Mandela

Maafa Commemoration - July 19

Buffalo Soldiers Day - July 28


Marcus Garvey Day - August 17

Emmett Till Day - August 28 

Learn about how to protect Emmett Till’s memorials and read this essay from his cousin


Enkutatash / Ethiopian New Year - September 11 or September 12 

School Desegregation in Little Rock, AR - September 25


Black History Month in the United Kingdom - October

Jerry Rescue Day - October 1

Anniversary of Thurgood Marshall being sworn into the Supreme Court - October 2

Black Entrepreneurs Day - October 14

Explore our guide to finding Black-owned businesses to support

Black Poetry Day - October 17

Explore our collections of quotes and poems from Maya Angelou and Amanda Gorman


Umoja Karamu Celebration - 4th Sunday of November


Anniversary of Rosa Parks’ Arrest - December 1

Explore our collection of Rosa Parks quotes — including quotes about her arrest

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery - December 2

Karamu Ya Imani (Feast of Faith) - December 31 

Kwanzaa - December 26 - January 1 

Learn about what Kwanzaa means for Black Americans

Article Details

January 16, 2023 4:10 PM
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