February 01. 2010
Black History Month


Macedonia Baptist Church




Deacon Phyllis Teat




Founders of Black History Month


During the dawning decades of the twentieth
century, it was commonly presumed that black
people had little history besides the subjugation
of slavery.  Today, it is clear that blacks have
significantly impacted the development of the
social, political, and economic structures of the
United States and the world.  Credit for the
evolving awareness of the true place of blacks in
history can, in large part, be bestowed on one
man, Carter G. Woodson.  And, his brainchild
the Association for the Study of African American
Life and History, Inc. is continuing Woodson’s

tradition of disseminating information about black
life, history and culture to the global community.

Known as the “Father of Black History,”
Woodson (1875-1950) was the son of former
slaves, and understood how important gaining a
proper education is when striving to secure and
make the most out of one’s divine right of
freedom.  Although he did not begin his formal
education until he was 20 years old, his
dedication to study enabled him to earn a high
school diploma in West Virginia and bachelor
and master’s degrees from the University


Recognizing the dearth of information on the
accomplishments of blacks in 1915, Dr. Woodson founded
the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History,
now called the Association for the Study of African
American Life and History (ASALH).  

Under Woodson’s pioneering leadership, the Association
created research and publication outlets for black scholars
with the establishment of the Journal of Negro History
(1916) and the Negro History Bulletin (1937), which
garners a popular public appeal.   

In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro
History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of
Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.  In 1976, this
celebration was expanded to include the entire month of
February, and today Black History Month garners support
throughout the country as people of all ethnic and social
backgrounds discuss the black experience.  ASALH views
the promotion of Black History Month as one of the most
important components of advancing Dr. Woodson’s legacy.

In honor of all the work that Dr. Carter G. Woodson has
done to promote the study of African American History, an
ornament of Woodson hangs on the White House’s
Christmas tree each year.


of Chicago in just a few years.  In 1912, Woodson became the second
African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University (the first was
W. E. B. DuBois).  Applying the insights he gained during his academic
matriculation, Dr. Woodson began teaching black students in the
District of Columbia’s public schools and at Howard University.







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