2020 Winners

To honor the research and work of Carter G. Woodson’s national organization, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASALH), the Black Faculty & Staff Association utilizes the Black History Month theme for the entire year, and when appropriate, develops a metaphoric adaptation.

This year marks two significant anniversaries impacting voting rights for African Americans. In 1870, 150 years ago, the 15th Amendment was ratified: “The right of citizens…to vote shall not be denied or abridged…on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

2020 is also the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment securing women’s right to vote. With these momentous anniversaries in mind, the 2020 theme is “African Americans and the Vote,” exploring 150 years (and more) of the struggle to ensure that African Americans are able to fully participate in American democracy.

The theme of the vote also includes the rise of black elected and appointed officials at the local and national levels, campaigns for equal rights legislation, as well as the role of blacks in traditional and alternative political parties.

View the essays from this year’s winners here.