(TIML HISTORY) It’s Black History Month, the four weeks of the year when many schools make room to include more information about contributions from Black folk in their lesson plans, Roots plays on TV, and social media timelines become inundated with snapshots of African-American greatness. Likely the most well-known of ethnically celebratory months in the nation, Black History Month continues to be a time when the country turns its eye towards accolades of the social, academic and scientific Black game-changers who came before us. It’s a concentrated time of reflection for some and enlightenment for others, but what do we know of the man behind it all?
Carter Godwin Woodson was a Virginia-born, Harvard-education historian. He died, quite recently, in 1950.
The son of former slaves, Woodson, in his youth, worked as a sharecropper and a miner. He didn’t start high school until his late teens. Harvard wasn’t his first brush with higher education, as he attended Berea College in Kentucky, and subsequently, both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees came from the University of Chicago. Woodson was one of the first African-Americans to receive a doctorate from Harvard.
Carter G. Woodson spent time as an education superintendent in the Philippines as a representative of the United States government. Once his own education was complete, he spearheaded a mission to ensure African-American history was taught in schools. Because of this, he’s known as the “Father of Black History.”