Who is Dr. Carter G. Woodson? Dr. Woodson, Known formally as “The Father of Black History”, was the first son out of nine children born to former slaves, Anna Eliza & James Woodson in 1875 in New Canton, Virginia. At a young age, Dr. Woodson would work as a sharecropper and a miner just so that he could help provide for his family. He attended High School in West Virginia in his late teen years at the age of 20. Dr. Woodson excelled during high school, which resulted in him graduating and receiving his high school diploma from a 4-year school in just 2 years.
Dr. Woodson then attended the University of Chicago. Before he attended the University of Chicago, (where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degree) Dr. Woodson Berea College in Kentucky where he worked for the U. S. government as an education superintendent in the Philippines. In 1912, Dr. Woodson then attended Harvard University, where he would then receive his doctorate’s degree; thus becoming the second African American to earn a Ph. D. after W. E. B. Du Bois. After schooling, Dr.
Woodson then turns his direction towards the field of African American history in hopes that this subject was taught in schools and studied by scholars. Three years after receiving his doctorate’s Woodson helped find the Association for the Study of Negro Life & History. This program had the goal of placing African-Americans historical contributions front and center. It was not until 1916, when Dr. Woodson established the Journal of Negro History, a scholarly publication. In 1921, Woodson formed the African-American owned Association publishers press; this led to his publication of more than a dozen books over the years.
In 1926 during the month of February, Woodson brought together many organizations to partake in a program, which surrounded the study of African-American history, with Negro history week. Negro week was then expanded and renamed Black History Month. Woodson chose the month of February in honors of the birth month of abolitionist Frederick Douglass & President Abraham Lincoln. Tragically, Woodson died on April 3, 1950 of natural causes. His legacy thus lived on with Black History Month being a national cultural force recognized by many people, organization and institutions.