Negro History Week, now known as Black History Month, was created by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in1926.

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 4.56.30 PM.pngDr. Woodson (1875 – 1954) was the son of former slaves, who understood the important role that education played in securing and making the most out of one’s right to freedom.

Although he started his formal education when he was almost 20 years old, Dr. Woodson earned his high school diploma, and then a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Chicago all within a few years. In 1912 he earned a PhD from Harvard University, only the second African American to do so.

In 1915 Dr. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which is today known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).

Under his stoic leadership the Association established two outlets for black scholars, the Journal of Negro History (1916) and then the Negro History Bulletin (1937).

In 1926 Negro History Week was initiated b
y Dr. Woodson to highlight and celebrate the social, political, and economic structural contributions African Americans have had in the United States. Negro History Week corresponded to the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, a prominent American abolitionist, author and orator.

In the year that celebrated 50 Anniversary the celebration was extended to the entire month of February. Today is celebrated in the United States as a way for people for all ethnic and social backgrounds to learn and discuss the black experience in America.