Dr. Carter G. Woodson — Father of African-American History
Father of African-American History, educator, author, editor, administrator and historian, Dr. Carter G. Woodson was born in Buckingham County, Virginia. He graduated from Douglass High School in 1896 and returned there as principal from 1900 to 1903. He continued his education at Berea College and the University of Chicago, earning a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. Dr. Woodson's book The Negro in Our History was published in 1922.
Published in 1933, his book The Miseducation of the Negro is still considered as a classic in the discipline of Black Studies. Single-handedly, Dr. Woodson, through these writings and his organizational ability, promoted and insured the viability of Black history in schools and colleges in this country. He was convinced that if a race had no recorded history, its achievements would be forgotten or ignored, and eventually claimed by others. In February 1926 through the Association of the Study of African-American Life and History, Dr. Woodson launched a campaign for "Negro History Week." The "Week" was his approach to securing for the African-American a firm basis for self-knowledge, self-confidence and for a revision of public opinion. The program was a definitive success and has continued to be celebrated to date.
Dr. Woodson devoted his life to the mission of researching and documenting African-American history. He believed that an accurate understanding of African-American history would promote pride within the Black community. He also believed that understanding would foster greater respect for the Black community within the broader society. Dr. Woodson brought to the forefront a critically important aspect of the nation's past that most historians had distorted or ignored altogether.
Stately in appearance and reserved in manner but with fervor in his commitment, Dr. Woodson is universally acknowledged as the "Father of African-American History."