Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson
(December 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950)
African-American historian, activist, author, journalist ,the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Founder of Black History Month . A founder of Journal of Negro History in 1916. He is known as the father of black history.
Dr. Carter was born on Sunday December 19, 1875. His parents were James and Eliza who were former slaves. The era of time was during the civil war. His family were not wealthly but were hard workers. He attended school and for the majority of time was home taught and achieved all academic fundamentals by the age of approximately 17. He had a passion for learning so to futher his education in order to advance in society he relocated and worked as a coal miner in Fayette County. In 1895 he attended Douglass High School and received his High School Diploma.
Carter eventually went into the teaching profession and received empllyement from Winoma School. He was given the position as the principal of Douglass High Scholl and earned his Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College.
From 1903 to 1907 Carter received a position as the school supervisor in the Philippines. Later, he attended the University of Chicago, where he was awarded an A.B. and A.M. in 1908. He was a member of the first black fraternity Sigma Pi Phi and a member of Omega Psi Phi He completed his PhD in history at Harvard University in 1912, where he was the second as an African American after W.E.B. Du Bois to earn a doctorate degree. He continued teaching in public schools, later joining the faculty at Howard University as a professor, where he served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Convinced that the role of African American history was being ignored and not interpreted properly in history taught in educational facilities and among scholars, Dr.Woodson saw a need for research into the neglected past of African Americans. Along with his colleague Alexander L. Jackson, He published The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 and A Century of Negro Migration, which continues to be published by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and The Negro Journal which particularly targeted those responsible for the education of black children . In 1915 due to the lack he saw in the new generation which neglected their heritage due to lack of knowledge he create the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History .
In the later part of his life career Dr. Woodson created the first Negro History Week in Washington, D.C., in 1926.
After leaving Howard University because of differences with the then president of the school. Dr. Woodson devoted the rest of his life to historical research. He worked to preserve the history of African Americans and accumulated a collection of thousands of artifacts and publications.
He noted that African-American contributions “were overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them.”Race prejudice, he concluded, “is merely the logical result of tradition, the inevitable outcome of thorough instruction to the effect that the Negro has never contributed anything to the progress of mankind.”
In 1926, Woodson continued with his creation of the celebration of “Negro History Week”, designated for the second week in February, to coincide with marking the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.The week of recognition became accepted and has been extended as the full month of February, now known as Black History Month.
Dr. Woodson founded in 1920 of the Associated Publishers, the oldest African-American publishing company in the United States. This enabled publication of books concerning blacks that might not have been supported in the rest of the market. He created the Negro History Bulletin, developed for teachers in elementary and high school grades, and published continuously since 1937. Woodson also influenced the Association’s direction and subsidizing of research in African-American history. He wrote numerous articles, monographs and books on Blacks. The Negro in Our History reached its eleventh edition in 1966, when it had sold more than 90,000 copies.
On April 3, 1950, at the age of 74 Dr. Woodson passed away . He is buried at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland.
To His legacy : He was a man who came from humble beginnings with a driven passion and vision without any compromising of himself for complete recognition of the Negro in all aspects in the American and world history.
AWARDS AND HONORS
In 1926, Woodson received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Spingarn Medal.
The U.S. Postal Service issued a 20 cent stamp honoring Woodson in 1984.
In 1992, the Library of Congress held an exhibition entitled “Moving Back Barriers: The Legacy of Carter G. Woodson”. Woodson had donated his collection of 5,000 items from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries to the Library.
His Washington, D.C. home has been preserved and designated the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site.
In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante named Carter G. Woodson on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.
IN ADDITION 27 SCHOOLS NAMED AFTER HIM.