Black History Resources and Terms
February is Black History Month

Black History Month, celebrated annually, highlights the achievements by African Americans and recognizes their roles in U.S. history. Black History Month started in 1926 as a week, and now it has been expanded into a whole month!


Take a moment to educate yourself by exploring each term with supporting articles, videos, and expansion of definitions. 

  • All Lives Matter: Saying "All Lives Matter" in response to "Black Lives Matter" is often perceived as dismissive or unsupportive of the Black Lives Matter movement, which was formed to bring more attention to the injustices committed against black men, women, and children.
  • Allyship: The active behavior taken by a person to help support a group of which they themselves are not a part.
  •  Bias: A belief or assumption made about a person or group of people based on a particular trait or characteristic; implicit bias refers to the attitudes, prejudices, or stereotypes that we are not aware of that affect our decisions, understanding, and actions.
  • BIPOC: An acronym that stands for 'Black, Indigenous, and People of Color'.
  • Black Lives Matter: An international human rights movement, originating in the Black community, that campaigns against violence and systemic racism.
  • Bystander: A person who observes wrongdoing, and may recognize it, but does not take action.
  • DEI: An acronym that stands for 'Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion', sometimes D&I for Diversity & Inclusion.
  • Discrimination: An unfavorable or unfair treatment of a person or class of persons based on a protected class or characteristic; intersectional discrimination occurs when someone is discriminated against because of the combination of two or more protected classes or characteristics.
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging: Terms used to describe programs, policies and behaviors that encourage representation and participation of diverse groups of people, including people of the different genders, races, ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, religions, cultures, ages, sexual orientations, and people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, skills, and expertise.
  • Equity: Fairness or justice in the way people are treated; freedom from bias or favoritism.
  • Marginalization: The process in which individuals are blocked or denied access to various rights, opportunities and resources that are normally available to members of a different group which are fundamental to social integration and observance of human rights within that particular group.
  • Microaggressions: Everyday verbal, nonverbal and environmental, slights, snub, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon a marginalized class or characteristic.
  • Privilege: Refers to benefits, awards, or advantages that accrue to dominant groups based upon skin color, gender, sex, class, ability, religion, etc., that they have received without earning and/or asking for them; privilege is usually invisible to the receiver.
  • Racism: Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people based on their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized; systemic, structural, or institutional racism refers to the complex interactions of culture, policy, and institutions that create and maintain racial inequality in nearly every facet of life for non-majority groups.
  • Stereotypes: Any thoughts widely adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of behaving intended to represent the entire group of those individuals or behaviors as a whole; these thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality.
  • Systemic Racism: Includes the policies and practices entrenched in established institutions, which result in the exclusion or promotion of designation groups.
  • Unconscious/Implicit Bias: Assumptions we make about social identities such as race, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, etc. that without our awareness or conscious control shape our likes, dislikes and judgments about a person's ability, potential, and character.
  • Upstander: Someone who witnesses wrongdoing and takes action to address it.
  • White Privilege: Is not a suggestion that white people have never struggled. Instead, white privilege should be viewed as a built-in advantage, separate from one's level of income or effort.
  • Workplace Bias: Studies have shown that workplace bias affects hiring decisions, salaries, and ultimately career advantages.

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