Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I did not know the name Dr. Carter G. Woodson until I read about the origins of Black History Month a few minutes ago. In 1926 Woodson launched Negro History Week in an effort to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history. He chose the second week of February because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population—Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In the 1960s it became Black History Month.

The son of former slaves, as a child Woodson worked in the coal mines. He enrolled in high school when he was twenty and later went on to become the second African American to earn a doctorate at Harvard. Woodson was disturbed to find that the contributions of back Americans was largely ignored in history books and determined to do something about it. His initiatives included the establishment of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) in 1915, and a year later he founded the widely respected Journal of Negro History. Woodson died in 1950.


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