Carter Godwin Woodson (December 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950) was born in New Canton, Virginia, the son of former slaves Anne Eliza (Riddle) and James Henry Woodson. His parents were both illiterate and his father, who had helped the Union soldiers during the Civil War, supported the family as a carpenter and farmer. His parents told him that it was the happiest day of their lives when they became free.
From his humble beginnings, Carter G. Woodson grew to become an American historian, author, journalist, and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He was one of the first scholars to study the history of the African diaspora, including African-American history. A founder of The Journal of Negro History in 1916, Carter G.Woodson has been called the “father of black history”. In February 1926 he launched the celebration of “Negro History Week”, the precursor of Black History Month.
Throughout history there has been a conscious effort to erase and/or omit black history in America. Let us all recognize and honour “Carter G. Woodson“ for his vision, courage and dedication to creating a Black History Month.
Negro History Week: Kara L. Poole narrates this video explaining how Negro History Week started and why we should celebrate Black History Month.
Reflection: Sometimes too often, we hear people say how much they don’t like Black History Month. Some say it’s all about slavery and is too painful. Others have various other reasons from religious connections to February being the shortest month, which is indicative of Black people getting the short end of the stick and a few other reasons. Regardless of whether you agree that Black History Month is necessary or not, Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week with the purpose of educating people about the history.
Knowledge is something we should all share and we owe Carter G. Woodson a debt of gratitude for spreading the knowledge of a rich Black history to millions of people of all races. It’s true, slavery and oppression are a big part of Black history, however it’s not the only part. From inventions to world changers Black people have a rich history that should be told and shared.
Thank you Carter G. Woodson for bringing what once was in darkness into the light. We honor you for creating a platform in which we can collectively share knowledge, celebrate Black people and educate people on Black history.
Albert Earl Jr.
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