HOUSTON — Dr. Carter G. Woodson designated Negro History Week, which expanded to Black History Month, on Feb. 7, 1926.
Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson was born on Dec. 19, 1875 in New Canton, Virginia.
Although Woodson could not regularly attend school, he self-taught himself common school subjects by the age of 17. In 1895, Woodson enrolled into Douglass High School and received his diploma in less than two years.
In 1897, Woodson taught at a school in Winona, West Virginia for three years.
In 1900, he became a principal for Douglass High School in West Virginia. In 1903, Woodson earned his Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College in Kentucky.
In 1908, Woodson attended the University of Chicago, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. In 1912, Woodson completed his PhD in history at Harvard University and became the second African American to earn a doctoral degree. After receiving his doctorate, Woodson worked as a professor at Howard University.
In 1915, Woodson became involved with the Washington, D.C. branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP. Woodson created the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History after being inspired by his experience while staying at the Wabash Avenue YMCA in Chicago.
For many years, Woodson devoted his time to learn about African American history. In 1926, Woodson designated the second week in February as “Negro History Week.”
In 1970, Woodson inspired Black United Students and black educators at Kent State University to expand the Negro History Week into a month.
On April 3, 1950, Woodson died from a heart attack in Washington, D.C. at the age of 74.
Woodson dedicated his time to give great African Americans the recognition they long-deserved. It is time we recognize his greatness.
List of Woodson’s accomplishments and honors:
In 1926: Woodson received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Spingarn Medal
In 1984: The U.S. Postal Service issued a 20-cent stamp in honor of Woodson.
Carter G. Woodson Elementary School in Los Angeles
Carter G. Woodson Elementary School in Jacksonville, Florida
Carter G. Woodson Park, in Oakland Park, Florida
Carter G. Woodson Elementary in Atlanta
Carter G. Woodson Middle School in Chicago
Carter G. Woodson Libray in Chicago
Carter G. Woodson Center for Interracial Education in Berea, Kentucky
Carter G. Woodson Middle School in New Orleans
Dr. Carter G. Woodson Elementary in Baltimore, Maryland
Woodson Institute for Student Excellence in Minneapolis
PS 23 Carter G. Woodson School in Brooklyn
Carter G. Woodson Charter School in Winston-Salem
Carter G. Woodson K-8 School in Houston
Carter G. Woodson Education Complex in Buckingham County, Virginia
Want more black history? See this fascinating feature on the story behind a 200-year-old oak tree in Missouri City.
Definitely a piece of history!