Image of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Father of Black History, courtesy of the ASALH site.
Today marks the beginning of Black History Month! When celebrating Black History Month, we owe much credit to Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History. Dr. Woodson committed his life to uncovering the oft untold history, contributions, and achievements of people of African descent. Black History Month is an extension of his legacy.
In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated Negro History Week during the second week of February (which coincided with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln). Negro History Week was later extended to a month-long celebration, becoming Black History Month in 1976.
Other important facts:
- Dr. Woodson was the second African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard.
- He was a member of Sigma Pi Phi (the first Black fraternity) and Omega Psi Phi.
- Dr. Woodson was an educator, he served as a public school teacher, a professor and Dean of Colleges of Arts and Sciences at Howard University and Dean of the West Virginia Collegiate Institute (known as West Virginia State University today).
- In 1915, Dr. Woodson and Alexander L. Jackson published The Education of The Negro Prior to 1861.
- Also in 1915, Dr. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which is known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
- Notable ASALH publications included the Journal of Negro History (1916) and Negro History Bulletin (1937).
- One of Dr. Woodson’s most famous works is The Mis-Education of The Negro (1833).
While February is designated as Black History Month, we don’t have to wait for the calendar to change to the respective month to celebrate Black History. Black History has and will continue to be made every day. So why not celebrate it year-round?