Learn the History of Black History Month

One man's idea to recognize the contributions of African Americans has grown into a month-long remembrance and celebration.

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Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950)
Photo courtesy of BlackPast.org

Black History Month, as we now know it, is the product of Carter G. Woodson's tireless effort to further the study of black history. He started by creating Negro History Week (the week in February of Abraham Lincoln's and Frederick Douglass’s birthdays). In 1976, Negro History Week was extended to be Black History Month.

Dr. Woodson, who received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard in 1912, eventually donated his extensive black history materials to the Library of Congress. Throughout his life, Mr. Woodson worked to epitomize what historian, Arthur Schomburg, said, “The American Negro must remake his past in order to reclaim his future. History must restore what slavery took away."



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Arthur Schomburg (1874-1938)
Photo courtesy of BlackPast.org

Without the efforts of these men and others like them, we would not have the privilege of learning the History of African Americans as we do at CCD. Want to learn more? Sign up for History 250, taught by Associate Professor William Ashcraft.

Thank you to William Ashcraft, Associate Professor History, for the information provided here.