Updated January 15, 2023
The origins of Black History Month began in the early 1900s with an Illinois gathering to celebrate the progress of the formerly enslaved. Dr. Carter G. Woodson, inspired by what he saw, subsequently worked in collaboration with others to establish the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) to focus on black culture and achievements. He thought it was important that black people learn about their history and collective contributions to the United States. Through Dr. Woodson’s work with ASNLH among other initiatives, Black (a.k.a Negro) History Week began in February of 1926. In 1976, on the 50th anniversary, February was deemed “Black History Month” by the President of the United States.
In this post, we review t-shirts that represent and celebrate black history from black owned brands. These include diverse issues and themes (e.g., 1619, reparations) and icons (e.g., Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou). T-shirts for children are also available. As such, you can showcase black history across multiple venues in February and beyond.
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- Shop With Leslie has black history shirts celebrating the life and legacy of aviator Bessie Coleman. Short- and long-sleeved tshirts are available. An ecofriendly sweatshirt made with 80% organic cotton is also offered.
- Afro Melanin Prints (advertisement) has an extensive selective of black history t-shirts celebrating a variety of icons that include Rosa Parks, Nina Simone, Malcolm X., Frederick Douglass, and so many more.
- Afrocentric Tribe (advertisement) has a selection of black history t-shirts that feature quotes and depictions of Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, John Lewis, and Harriet Tubman.
- AMJ Shirts (advertisement) has a selection of 1619 t-shirts among other black history tees.
- Designed By JanieceH (advertisement) has an extensive selection of t-shirts with cultural and historical themes.
- Ink and Cotton Shop (advertisement) offers a variety of black culturally themed tshirts on history and historical figures.
- It’s A Black Thang (advertisement) offers an extensive selection of Negro Baseball League shirts. This includes t-shirts and jerseys.
- J La Rowe Boutique (advertisement) has black history t-shirts that highlight 1619 and iconic figures.
- Kalila Jones (advertisement) has a selection of t-shirts that celebrate black pioneers and icons. Many styles of t-shirts are available.
- Kulture Klothing Co. (advertisement) has a selection of culturally themed t-shirts on American Descendants of Slaves (ADOS) and “blacknificent.”
- Kustom Kingdom Prints (advertisement) has a black history t-shirt collection that features a variety of icons and themes (e.g., Black Wall Street).
- MM of Philly (advertisement) has an extensive collection of thematic black history t-shirts for children.
- Signs of Justice (advertisement) has a selection of t-shirts with cultural, historical, and social justice themes.
- Sparkling Shirts of Atlanta (advertisement) has a selection of black history t-shirts that include shirts for children, shirts celebrating black women in history, and black sorority black history t-shirts.
- Tee’s Custom Apparel (advertisement) has a variety of black history, cultural themed and motivational tshirts.
- The PrintHeadz (advertisement) has a variety tshirts on black history, empowerment, inspiration and pride.
- The Trini Gee (advertisement) has t-shirts representing cultural themes as well as legendary and history individuals.
- The Womanist (advertisement) has “reparations” t-shirts in several colors.
- Urban Audacity (advertisement) has a large selection of black history tees featuring historical features and cultural themes.
- D W Appeal has an extensive selection of t-shirts featuring black icons (e.g., Muhammad Ali , John Lewis and Maya Angelou) and legends, as well as political figures from the 1960s.
- Malcolm X Legacy offers short and long sleeves t-shirts that amplify the image and words of Malcolm X.
- Philadelphia Print Works offers a variety of black history t-shirts that honor social justice movements and those who have contributed to social justice.
In reviewing these black history tees, I hope you find one or more that work for you.
Happy Black History Month!
ALSO, Shop With Leslie has Etsy and Redbubble stores with merchandise celebrating culture and enterprise. Proceeds go towards supporting this blog. Check out our Etsy merchandise at ShopWithLeslieBlog (free shipping). Find my Redbubble merchandise here, ShopWithLeslieRedbubble. A mixture of products is provided below.
To learn more about the origins of Black History Month, see the following sources.
- Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
- “Black History Month.” 19 January, 2022. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month
- Mercer, Mia. 8 February, 2021. “The origins of Black History Month. https://today.tamu.edu/2021/02/08/the-origins-of-black-history-month/
- Pruitt, Sarah. “The man behind Black History Month.” 2 February, 2021. https://www.history.com/news/the-man-behind-black-history-month