This month we celebrate the life and work of the “Father of Black History,” Dr.Carter Woodson. Known for his efforts to promote and preserve African American history, Woodson wrote social histories of Black people using public letters, speeches, autobiographies, and other materials that had previously been ignored by White historians. In 1915 Woodson helped found the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, with the goal of highlighting African American historical contributions. Over the course of his career, Woodson wrote more than a dozen books, with his most notable being “Mis-Education of the Negro,” published in 1933. Woodson lobbied for a special program for schools and organizations to participate in to encourage the study of Black History. February 12, 1926, marked the beginning of the special program, which lasted one week and was called “Negro History Week.” The second week of February was chosen to honor the birthdays of scholar and abolitionist Fredrick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln. In 1976 President Gerald Ford officially designated February as National Black (Afro-American) History Month. Although Black History Month was officially recognized by Congress in 1976, Black communities across the country in places like West Virginia and Chicago,IL began celebrating in the late 1940s!
written by Abby Martin with contributions by Christina Jones
book cover image content by Anna Long