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The Father of Black History Month

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The father of Black History Month

Today’s page looks at Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who started this celebration of black history and culture.

By JASMIN K. WILLIAMS

BLACK History Month actually began as Negro History Week. It started by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926 as a way to focus on the contributions of blacks in both American and world history.

Woodson was born in New Canton, VA in 1875. He was part of a large and poor family. He was unable to go to school because he was needed to help his family on their farm, but nothing would stop him learning and he taught himself the fundamentals of basic school subjects.

Woodson worked in the Kentucky coal mines during his teens and was not able to start school until he was 20. But the late start didn’t stop Woodson from excelling. He graduated from high school in less than two years.

The brilliant Woodson began teaching high school and writing articles. He attended colleges in West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Chicago, earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago in 1907, and a Master’s Degree in 1908. he earned his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1912. he traveled to Europe and Asia and attened the Sorbonne in France. He would dedicate himself to teaching and introducing other scholars to black history.

Dr. Woodson wrote more than 125 articles and authored more than 30 books, the most famous of which is “The Mis-Education of the Negro,” written in 1933.

Dr. Woodson would forge a path that other scholars, like Arthur Schomburg, Dr. Jogn Henrik Clarke and Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan, would continue to follow.

Dr. Woodson felt that African Americans had a rich history that they should be proud of, and that all Americans should understand it. “History,” he said, “was not the mere gathering of facts. The object of historical study is to arrive at a reasonable interpretation of the facts. It must include some description of the social; conditions of the period being studied.” African Americans had suffered

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