And all of these ignant folks talk about RACE should not matter! The DEVIL is a LIAR! For me ALWAYS have and ALWAYS will.
Honoring Carter G. Woodson, Founder of Negro History Week, (1926) crossed over on this day 64 years ago. December 19, 1875 – April 3, 1950
Carter Godwin Woodson was an inspiring Black American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the "Association for the Study of African-American Life and History". Woodson was among the first scholars to study Black American history. Woodson established in 1926 "Negro History Week" and was the founder of Journal of Negro History. He has been cited as the father of black history.
“If you can control a man’s thinking, you don’t have to worry about his actions. If you can determine what a man thinks you do not have to worry about what he will do. If you can make a man believe that he is inferior, you don’t have to compel him to seek an inferior status, he will do so without being told and if you can make a man believe that he is justly an outcast, you don’t have to order him to the back door, he will go to the back door on his own and if there is no back door, the very nature of the man will demand that you build one.”
He worked to preserve the history of Black Americans and accumulated a collection of thousands of artifacts and publications. He noted that Black-American contributions "were overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them."
Race prejudice, he concluded, "is merely the logical result of tradition, the inevitable outcome of thorough instruction to the effect that the Negro has never contributed anything to the progress of mankind."
Woodson’s political activism placed him at the center of a circle of many black intellectuals and activists from the 1920s to the 1940s. He corresponded with W. E. B. Du Bois, John E. Bruce, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, Hubert H. Harrison, and T. Thomas Fortune among others.
Even with the extended duties of the Association, Woodson made time to write academic works such as The History of the Negro Church (1922), The Mis-Education of the Negro (1933), and others which continue to have wide readership.
Carter G. Woodson was the son of former enslaved Africans, James and Eliza Riddle Woodson. His father helped Union soldiers during the Civil War, and he moved his family to West Virginia when he heard that Huntington was building a high school for Black Americans.
Coming from a large, poor family, Carter Woodson could not regularly attend school. Through self-instruction, Woodson mastered the fundamentals of common school subjects by age 17.
Wanting more education, Carter went to Fayette County to earn a living as a miner in the coal fields. He was able to devote only a few months each year to his schooling.
In 1895, at the age of 20, Woodson entered Douglass High School, where he received his diploma in less than two years. From 1897 to 1900, Woodson taught at Winona in Fayette County. In 1900 he was selected as the principal of Douglass High School. He earned his Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College in Kentucky in 1903 by taking classes part-time between 1901 and 1903.
From 1903 to 1907, Woodson was a school supervisor in the Philippines.
Later, he attended the University of Chicago, where he was awarded an A.B. and A.M. in 1908. He was a member of the first black fraternity Sigma Pi Phi and a member of Omega Psi Phi.
He completed his Ph.D. in history at Harvard University in 1912, where he was the second Black American (after W.E.B. DuBois) to earn a doctorate.
His doctoral dissertation, "The Disruption of Virginia", was based on research he did at the Library of Congress while teaching high school in Washington, D.C. After earning the doctoral degree, he continued teaching in the public schools, later joining the faculty at Howard University as a professor, where he served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Convinced that the role of his own people in American history and in the history of other cultures was being ignored or misrepresented among scholars, Woodson realized the need for research into the neglected past of Black Americans.
Along with Alexander L. Jackson, Woodson in 1915 published The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861. His other books followed: A Century of Negro Migration continues to be published by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
Also in 1915 Woodson began the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History), which ran conferences, published The Journal of Negro History, and "particularly targeted those responsible for the education of black children".
His final professional appointment in West Virginia was as the Dean of the West Virginia Collegiate Institute, now West Virginia State University, from 1920 to 1922.
Woodson became affiliated with the Washington, D.C. branch of the NAACP, and its chairman Archibald Grimké. On January 28, 1915, he wrote a letter to Grimké expressing his dissatisfaction with activities.
Woodson made two proposals:
That the branch secure an office for a center to which persons may report whatever concerns the black race may have, and from which the Association may extend its operations into every part of the city; and
That a canvasser be appointed to enlist members and obtain subscriptions for The Crisis, the NAACP magazine edited by W. E. B. Du Bois.
W. E. B. Du Bois added the proposal to divert "patronage from business establishments which do not treat races alike," that is, boycott businesses.
Woodson wrote that he would cooperate as one of the twenty-five effective canvassers, adding that he would pay the office rent for one month. Grimke did not welcome Woodson’s ideas.
Responding to Grimke’s comments about his proposals, on March 18, 1915, Woodson wrote,
"I am not afraid of being sued by white businessmen. In fact, I should welcome such a law suit. It would do the cause much good. Let us banish fear. We have been in this mental state for three centuries. I am a radical. I am ready to act, if I can find brave men to help me."
His difference of opinion with Grimké, who wanted a more conservative course, contributed to Woodson’s ending his affiliation with the NAACP.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
After leaving Howard University because of differences with its president, Woodson devoted the rest of his life to historical research.
In 1926, Woodson pioneered the celebration of "Negro History Week", designated for the second week in February, to coincide with marking the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The week of recognition became accepted and has been extended as the full month of February, now known as Black History Month.
Woodson believed in self-reliance and racial respect, values he shared with Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican activist who worked in New York. Woodson became a regular columnist for Garvey’s weekly Negro World.
Woodson did not shy away from controversial subjects, and used the pages of Black World to contribute to debates. One issue related to West Indian/Black-American relations.
Woodson summarized that "the West Indian Negro is free." He observed that West Indian societies had been more successful at properly dedicating the necessary amounts of time and resources needed to educate and genuinely emancipate people.
Woodson approved of efforts by West Indians to include materials related to Black history and culture into their school curricula.
Woodson was ostracized by some of his contemporaries because of his insistence on defining a category of history related to ethnic culture and race.
At the time, these educators felt that it was wrong to teach or understand Black American history as separate from more general American history.
According to these educators, "Negroes" were simply Americans, darker skinned, but with no history apart from that of any other. Thus Woodson’s efforts to get Black culture and history into the curricula of institutions, even historically Black colleges, were often unsuccessful.
Today Black American studies have become specialized fields of study in history, music, culture, literature and other areas; in addition, there is not enough emphasis on Black American contributions to general American culture.
His determination to further the recognition of the Negro in American and world history, however, inspired countless other scholars. Woodson remained focused on his work throughout his life.
Many see him as a man of vision and understanding. Although Woodson was among the ranks of the educated few, he did not feel particularly sentimental about elite educational institutions.
The Association and journal that he started in 1915 continue, and both have earned intellectual respect.
Woodson’s other far-reaching activities included the founding in 1920 of the Associated Publishers, the oldest Black American publishing company in the United States.
This enabled publication of books concerning Black Americans that might not have been supported in the rest of the market. He created the Negro History Bulletin, developed for teachers in elementary and high school grades, and published continuously since 1937.
Woodson also influenced the Association’s direction and subsidizing of research in Black American history. He wrote numerous articles, monographs and books on Black Americans.
In 1926, Woodson received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Spingarn Medal.
In 1992, the Library of Congress held an exhibition entitled "Moving Back Barriers: The Legacy of Carter G. Woodson".
Woodson had donated his collection of 5,000 items from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries to the Library.
His Washington, D.C. home has been preserved and designated the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site.
In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante named Carter G. Woodson on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.
Woodson is buried at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland.
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