Black History Month/ Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson
“Why is Black History only acknowledged during the shortest, and one of the coldest, months of the year; in the dead of winter?”
– is the complaint often asked… as if Amerikkkanized-Afrikans are only ‘allowed’ to celebrate their rich heritage when permitted to do so by their oppressors.
That assumption is absolutely incorrect.
In fact, what originated in 1926 as the annual ‘Negro History Week’ – during February’s second quarter – was actually established by a man who was just one generation removed from physical captivity/chattel slavery – Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson.
He did so specifically because there were no Black holidays acknowledged on the greco-roman calendar then, and also to bring more awareness to the significant contributions Afrikans have made throughout existence.
The Father Of Black History, as he is known, chose that time period in observance of the physical births of two men he deemed to have made great contributions along the path of freedom road. First was the self-taught, formerly-enslaved emancipator – Fredrick Douglas, recognized as being born on February 14th 1818.
Secondly, that of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, February 12th 1809 – who is incorrectly credited with freeing enslaved Afrikans in the United Snakes of Amerikkka. By the 1970s though, the commemoration had been extended to include all of February, and renamed ‘Black History Month’.
Woodson was physically born on December 18th 1875 in rural New Canton, VA – one foot out of physical bondage, as both his parents – James and Eliza Woodson – were direct descendants of kidnapped Afrikans, and themselves were formerly held hostage on crackersoids’ plantations. As a youth he worked in the gritty underground coal mines down South while also going on to educate himself, eventually attending Berea College in Kentucky and earning a B.A. at the University of Chicago in 1907.
The following year, he attended Paris’ Sorbonne University, and became fluent in French. By 1912 he was only the 2nd Amerikkkanized-Afrikan to earn a Ph.D. – his was from Harvard University, in history.
The erudite Woodson went on to be an educator at a number of locations, including West Virginia State College and Howard University. Throughout his studies, he became increasingly frustrated at the exclusion of his people throughout the history texts – except for the propagandized, stereotypical subordinate roles.
Dr. Woodson was also a consistent contributor to Marcus Garvey’s weekly publication, ‘The Negro World’. In 1915, he established the ‘Association for the Study of Negro Life and History’ (now known as the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History). Also during that year, he founded the reputable ‘Journal of Negro History’, which is still in circulation today.
He went on to put in place ‘The Associated Publishers’, and became the editor of the ‘Negro History Bulletin’. Along with his classic ‘Mis-Education Of The Negro, he also authored over 30 books dealing with the Afrikan experience in Amerikkka, namely: The Education Of The Negro, Afrikan Heroes and Heroines, The History Of The Negro Church, The Negro In Our History, just to mention a few.
Dr. Woodson’s efforts have inspired many conscious Afrikans to take his works even further… saying that Black History should be extended to every single day of our natural lives, throughout the entire year.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson is credited with not just putting in place the monthly commemoration of the positives aspects of Amerikkkanized-Afrikans culture, but also for generating significance interest in the study of Afrikan History period.
“When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here, or go yonder. He will find his ‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.”
Woodson wrote in his monumental classic – The Mi-Education Of The Negro.
More Books By & About Dr. Carter G. Woodson @ http://www.ea17.com/store/
The following are some significant February dates:
February 23, 1868:
W. E. B. DuBois, important civil rights leader and co-founder of the NAACP, was born.
- February 3, 1870:
The 15th Amendment was passed, granting blacks the right to vote.
- February 25, 1870:
The first black U.S. senator, Hiram R. Revels (1822-1901), took his oath of office.
- February 12, 1909:
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded by a group of concerned black and white citizens in New York City.
- February 22nd 1928:
Clarence Edward Smith, later known as Clarence 13X and then as Allah, The Father – Founder of the Nation Of Gods & Earths a.k.a. The 5%ers.
- February 6th 1945
Robert Nesta Marley– Reggae legend and prophetic God is born in Jamaica
- February 1, 1960:
In what would become a civil-rights movement milestone, a group of Black Greensboro, N.C., college students began a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter.
- February 21, 1965:
El Hajj Malik El Shabazz/Malcolm X, former Nation Of Islam Minister, and Revolutionary Black Nationalist, was publically executed by the U.S. government at Harlem’s Audobon Ballroom.