Black History Month 2014..... Where It All Started

Carter Godwin Woodson was an African-American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Woodson was one of the first scholars to study African-American history. Carter Godwin Woodson is the "Father of Black History Month," which bgean as Negro History Week in 1926 and became Black History Month in 1976. He was also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc.

Carter Godwin Woodson was born on December 19, 1875, New Canton, VA. He was the son of former slaves, and understood how important gaining a proper education is when striving to secure and make the most out of divine right of freedom. Although he did not begin his formal education until he was 20 years old he was dedicated to study enabled him to earn a high school diploma in West Virginia and he earned both bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Chicago. In 1912, he became the second African American to earn a PhD, from Harvard University. 

Recognizing the dearth of information on the accomplishments of blacks in 1915, Dr. Woodson  founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).  

Under Woodson’s pioneering leadership, the Association created research and publication outlets for black scholars with the establishment of the Journal of Negro History (1916) and the Negro History Bulletin (1937), which garners a popular public appeal.   

In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.  In 1976, this celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February, and today Black History Month garners support throughout the country as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the black experience.  

Toni's Thoughts: I am a member of ASALH ( The Association for the Study of African American Life and History). I am proud that I became a charter member of this organization at my alma mater Western Kentucky University. I have read The Mis Education of the Negro and it was one of the bet books I have read in my life. Thank you Dr. Woodson for your leadership and determination to make the study of African American Life and History be recognized in academics on a global scale.


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