Carter Godwin Woodson: Committed Black Historian
African-American writer, educator, and historian Carter Godwin Woodson was born December 19, 1875. From a poor family in Buckingham County, Virginia, Woodson supported himself by working in the coal mines of Kentucky as a teenager and as a consequence was unable to enroll in high school until he was 20. After graduating in fewer than two years, he taught high school, wrote articles, studied at home and abroad, and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1912. Woodson also studied at Berea College and the University of Chicago.
He was dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Howard University from 1919 to 1920 and at what is now West Virginia State College from 1920 to 1922. Woodson devoted his life to making “the world see the Negro as a participant rather than as a lay figure in history. To this end he established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History; founded and edited the Journal of Negro History; founded the Negro History Bulletin; and organized the first annual Negro History Week, which later became Black History Month.
Among Carter G. Woodson’s many books are The Mis-Education of the Negro Prior to 1861, History of the Negro Church, and The Rural Negro. Carter G. Woodson died April 3, 1950.
Black Heroes of The Twentieth Century
Jessie Carney Smith, editor
Detroit, Michigan: Visible Ink Press, 1998