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The Originator of Black History Month

 

Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson

The Originator of Black History Month

By Don Valentine

      Far too few people know where the genesis for Black History Month came from. Carter G. Woodson was the second African American to receive a doctorate from Harvard, after W.E.B. Du Bois. Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson dedicated his career to the field of African-American history and lobbied extensively to establish Black History Month as a nationwide institution. He also wrote many historical works, including the 1933 book The Mis-Education of the Negro. He died in Washington, D.C., in 1950.

He was the son of a former slave.  Mr. Woodson established the scholarly publication Journal of Negro History in 1916, and to help teachers with African American studies, he created the Negro History Bulletin in 1937. Woodson also formed the African American-owned Associated Publishers Press in 1921.

Outside of his writing pursuits, Woodson held down several positions in academia. He served as principal of the Armstrong Manual Training School in Washington, D.C., before becoming a dean at Howard University and the West Virginia Collegiate Institute.  Mr. Woodson was one of the first prominent members of the historic Omega Psi Phi fraternity.

 

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