A little history for Black History Month
(by Beverly Jenkins)

Black History Month was initiated by Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson in 1926. Initially, the observance began as a weekly event celebrated annually during the second week of February.

Woodson chose that time frame because it contained the birthdays of two men very important to the race: Abraham Lincoln (Feb 12) and Frederick Douglass (Feb 14).

Woodson was an amazing man. Born in 1875 to parents who were former slaves, he was one of nine children--yet rose to teach English, History, Spanish, and French at the all Black Dunbar High in DC. He founded the highly esteemed Journal of Negro History and became only the second black man in America to receive a PhD in history from Harvard.

Today, Dr. Carter G. Woodson is known as the Father of Black History. His well-documented scholarship paved the way for the next generation of historians--men and women like John Hope Franklin, Art Burton, and Nell Irving Painter. He also made it possible for historical writers like myself to spread the Good Word about African-American achievements.

I am forever in his debt.

Dr. Woodson never married. He died in 1950 at the age of 75.

Beverly Jenkins

2 Comments:

Anonymous Kevin said:

Oh, some history. I did not know this, thank you for sharing. I used to run a black history month campaign at the college I used to go to, so this kind of brought that memory back. :)

4:51 PM  

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