Carter Woodson

Birthplace: New Canton, VA
Graduate of Harvard University, 1912

Woodson introduced the field of black studies. He founded the Study of Negro Life and History, which sparked interest in black history. In order to draw attention to African-American contributions to society, he founded Negro History Week in 1926. This later evolved into Black History Month. Woodson chose the month of February because even though the Thirteenth Amendment was signed in January, slaves did not begin to hear of it until February. Woodson was dean of the College of Liberal Arts, head of the graduate faculty at Howard University, Washington, DC (1919-20), and dean at West Virginia State College (1920-22). Woodson wrote and edited many publications such as The Journal of Negro History, The Negro in Our History (1922; 10th ed., 1962), The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 (1915), and A Century of Negro Migration (1918). He founded and became president of Associated Publishers because many publishing outlets were not interested in scholarly works on blacks.

Related Resources

Web Resources
Biography from the Chicago Public Library
Includes a timeline of his life.

Selected Works by Carter Woodson
"The Disruption of Virginia" (1912)
Education of the Negro Prior to 1861 (1915)
A Century of Negro Migration, Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (1918)
History of the Negro Church (1921)
Negro Makers of History (1928)
African Myths, Together with Proverbs: a Supplementary Reader Composed of Folk Tales from Various Parts of Africa (1928)
The Rural Negro, Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (1930)
The Mis-education of the Negro (1933)
African Heroes and Heroines (1939)

Black History Month  Return to the Encyclopedia
of Prominent African Americans

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