February marks Black History Month. Follow the AJC this month for a series of short stories and videos and people, places and events that played a significant role in the development of black people in America.
Carter G. Woodson: In 1926 former slaves still lived in America, living reminders of an institution that was banned less than 50 years prior. But black colleges and institutions were forming. Black artists were creating and black leaders were changing how blacks were being viewed in the country. Born in 1875 to former slaves in Virginia, Carter G. Woodson wanted to account for all of that. Only the second black person to earn a doctorate at Harvard University, Woodson devoted his professional life to gathering the history of African Americans who "were overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them." In February 1926 he announced the celebration of "Negro History Week," which would be celebrated the second week of the month to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Woodson’s week is considered the precursor to Black History Month. Woodson would continue to chronicle the lives and works of the African American – including his classic “The Mis-Education of the Negro — until his death in 1950 at the age of 74.
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