Black History Month costume resources

Denise Benedetto in costume as Civil War spy Mary Bowser, at Germanna Community College's Black History Month Living History event on February 11, 2012.

Denise Benedetto in costume as Civil War spy Mary Bowser, at Germanna Community College’s Black History Month Living History event on February 11, 2012. (Photo credit: Germanna Community College / Flickr)

Despite our name, Take Back Halloween isn’t just about Halloween. From the very beginning we’ve served as a handy year-round resource guide for do-it-yourself historical costumes, no matter what the occasion. Black History Month, Women’s History Month, community festivals, school plays, historical reenactments—we do it all. Or rather, our readers do it all, and tell us about it by email.

A child-size Phillis Wheatley costume from Heritage Costumes.

A child-size Phillis Wheatley costume from Heritage Costumes.

For Black History Month in February we always get tons of searches and queries about putting together costumes for Phillis Wheatley, Sojourner Truth, and other African American luminaries. We also get a lot of inquiries about figures in continental African history, such as the great Queen Nzinga. So I thought it might be helpful to post the links for our most popular costumes this month:

Women in African American History

Women in African History

And a note about children’s costumes…

Um, we don’t have any. Everybody asks us this, but the fact is, at this point it’s just beyond our scope to include children’s costumes. I know, I know, it’s a bummer. My apologies to all you moms out there! But there are some commercial costume places selling kids’ outfits that look like they’d work. Heritage Costumes has a Black History Month page, with costumes for Harriet Tubman, Phillis Wheatley, and Sojourner Truth. The boys’ costumes look good too. (Now if only they would add a costume for Madam Walker! Late Victorian and Edwardian costumes are hard enough to find for adults; for children they’re virtually impossible.)

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