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:
- The Ultimate Calendar of Heritage Months
- Disability Awareness Days Calendar
- LGBTQ+ Pride Days, Weeks, & Months Calendar
- Animal & Pet Awareness Calendar
- Mental Health Days & Awareness Months Calendar
- Environmental & Sustainability Holidays Calendar
- HIV/AIDS Awareness Days & Months Calendar
- Cancer Awareness Days & Months Calendar
And now we’re publishing our guide to Black and African American holidays!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
Martin Luther King Jr. Day - 3rd Monday of January
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
Rosa Parks’ Birthday - February 4
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - February 7
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
Anniversary of the School Desegregation Ruling - May 17
Malcolm X’s Birthday - May 19
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
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
Black Poetry Day - October 17
Umoja Karamu Celebration - 4th Sunday of November
Anniversary of Rosa Parks’ Arrest - December 1
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