94 years ago today on February 7, 1926, Carter G. Woodson started the historic Negro History Week. This week was going to trumpet the lesser known accomplishments of our proud black ancestors. This meritorious week was going to be linchpin of the organization Carter G Woodson founded in Chicago in 1915, The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History.
Dr. Woodson felt it was his duty to ensure that Negro peoples story was not a story that would be whitewashed away in this nation by the Jim Crow tactics of a bigoted America. So he encumbered upon himself the mission to educate a peoples struggling with the depths and despair of a broken educational system to share the magnificent accomplishments of colored people who faced and battled the chains of enslavement and bigotry to forge a pathway to freedom. Just 61 years from the end of slavery in 1865 when over 4,000,000 men, women, and children were freed from the bonds of slavery. Dr. Woodson was passionate about educating the children and grandchildren of former slaves the history of a proud dark peoples. So he started Negro History Week to encourage the study of their own history.
The week was going to eventually be established and celebrated in our communities institutions throughout this nation. Carter G Woodson would become known as the Father of Black History. His dedication to the study of black history, not just in this country but also globally was symbolic of his commitment to educational excellence.
Today we celebrate Black History Month as a result of Dr. Woodson’s dream to establish a baseline of the negro’s value in the development of this nation. It is my hope that the full measure of black history will deem that black history isn’t provided a month but the realization that this nation wouldn’t have evolved as an independent democracy without the aid and assistance of those former enslaved ancestors and the multiple generations that followed. I am sure that if Dr. Carter G. Woodson was still alive he would be fighting for reparations. The organization he founded in 1915 is still around and providing educational support to schools, libraries, and institutions across this country. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History is foundational arm that elevates black historical excellence for now over a century. Today we bow to the greatest historian this nation ever created Carter G Woodson for without him there is no telling where we would be as people and where America would be as a nation.