We have arrived at the 1st day of February in the year 2011. Which means we have arrived at another Black History month. I figured that it was time to bring back the Social Study blog.
A lot of people like to joke they Black people the shortest month with February, that is simply not true and stop repeating it before people believe you. To open up this month, I figured that I would profile the man responsible for Black History month.
Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950)
The founder of Black History Month
Carter Godwin Woodson was born in 1875 on a small farm in New Canton, Virgina. As the son of former slaves Woodson showed a thrist for learning early in life. He worked in mines and quarries until the age of 20 when he decided pursue his education.
At the age of 22 Carter received his high school diploma and from there he attended Berea College in Kentucky. He ultimately obtained his B.A from the University of Chicago in 1907. He went on to receive his Ph. D in History from Harvard University in 1912. At that time he was only the 2nd African American to have earned such a degree. He also studied Sorbornne University in Paris, France where he became fluent in French. Dr Woodson taught and held administrative post in the Philippines, West Virgina State College and at Howard University.
Dr Woodson was a member of the Niagara Movement and columnist for Marcus Garvey's weekly publication, The Negro World. He also the founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. He maybe best known for his book "The Mis-Education o fthe Negro" originally published in 1933 and is still relevant today.
In 1926 Woodson began the annual February observance of Negro History Week. February was chosen by Dr Woodson because Abraham Lincoln's birthday was on the 12th and February 14th was the accepted birthday of Fredrick Douglass. In regards to Douglass (accepted) is because he was born a slave and slaves did not have accurate birth records. It is also the month that the NAACP was founded. It was was not until the 1960's that Black History Week was taken seriously outside the of the educated African American community and converted into Black History month.
In Woodson's words "Besides building self-esteem among blacks,(Black History Week) would help eliminate prejudice among whites."
DVD's to Check out At your local Library
Eyes on The Prize: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965
Crucibles of Courage
Black History: From Civil War Through Today