Carter Woodson: Founder of Black History Month





Darrell Bowling, writing on MSNBC (Feb. 2, 2004):

As children, we joked that the only reason February was chosen was because it is the shortest month of the year. The truth is, February was chosen because of the tremendous number of African-American pioneers and institutions born in this month -- from W.E.B. Du Bois and Langston Hughes to the NAACP and the first Pan African Congress.

And the answer to the question"Who is the father of black history?" is Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Woodson didn't graduate from high school until he was almost 22 years old. But in 1912, he received his Ph.D. from Harvard, becoming the second African-American to do so.

Convinced that the role of African-American history was being ignored or misrepresented, Woodson began his quest to educate America about the accomplishments of black Americans.

Woodson's journey began in New Canton, Va., on Dec. 19, 1875. The son of former Virginia slaves, Woodson was born into a large, poor family whose education was sporadic at best. But he was able to teach himself, mastering the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic. Looking to further his education, Woodson moved to Huntington, W. Va., where he was forced to earn his living as a coal miner. ...

In 1915, he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Woodson realized the need for special research into the black American's life and history. The association began pressing for a"Negro History Week" as a way to explore the contributions of African Americans. 

This dream became reality in 1926. In 1976, the renamed Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History expanded Black History Week into Black History Month.

In the book"Mis-Education of the Negro," Woodson wrote:"When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions."When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder.  He will find his 'proper place' and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary." In 1915, he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Woodson realized the need for special research into the black American's life and history. The association began pressing for a"Negro History Week" as a way to explore the contributions of African Americans. 

This dream became reality in 1926. In 1976, the renamed Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History expanded Black History Week into Black History Month.

In the book"Mis-Education of the Negro," Woodson wrote:"When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions."When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder.  He will find his 'proper place' and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary."


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