Carter G. Woodson

Black History Month Profile

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Carter G. Woodson

United States Public Domain

United States Public Domain

United States Public Domain

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Carter G. Woodson the father of black history week, and the crusader of black history month was born on December 19, 1875, in New Canton, Virginia. Woodson grew up in a poor family, surrounded by previous slaves. Without proper schooling and his family’s financial conflicts, he still managed to retain the school’s curriculum by himself. He attended high school at the age of 19 and continued schooling at the University of Chicago, Berea College, and West Virginia state to get his bachelors and masters degrees. He then became the second African-American to get a Ph.D. at Harvard University.

After he finished school, Woodson dug into the archives of African-American history to make their history more publicly known. He founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in 1915. While in the Association he created the “Journal of Negro History” an innovative journal that held articles of African-American experiences. The journal brought light to all the lives of previous African-Americans.

In 1926, the birth of Black History week began. Woodson dedicated the second week of February to Black History because it was the birth month of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

He later died on April 3, 1950, before the entire month of February was dedicated to African-American backgrounds in the 1970s.

“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history,” Woodson said.

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