Carter G. Woodson is referred to as the “Father of Black History,” a fitting title considering his life’s work. The historian and author’s impact still resonates in modern times, so its worth taking a look back at his influential life on the last day of Black History Month.
Woodson was born December 19, 1875 in New Canton, Virginia. Attending high school for the first time as adult at the age of 20, the fast learner quickly earned degrees from Berea College and the University of Chicago before becoming just the second Black person to earn a Ph. D from Harvard University, after W.E.B. Du Bois.
In 1924, the Omega Psi Phi fraternity, which Woodson was a member of, began an event known as “Negro History and Literature Week.” Woodson turned to the Omegas and began his own version of the celebration titled simply “Negro History Week” in 1926, which took place annually in the second week of the month. These weeks served as precursors to the establishment of Black History Month on February 1, 1970 at Kent State University.
Aside from his historic research, Woodson gained notoriety for his book The Mis-Education of The Negro published in 1933. He also helped found the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, later named the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History.
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