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Historian, Author, Journalist, “Father of African-American History”. Dr. Carter G. Woodson. “It is important for a people to know their race’s contributions to humanity.” What did he mean?. Woodson quote. Early Life (1875-1950). Son of former slaves Father helped Union soldiers

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Dr. Carter G. Woodson

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Historian, Author, Journalist,

“Father of African-American History”

Dr. Carter G. Woodson


“It is important for a people to know their race’s contributions to humanity.”

What did he mean?

Woodson quote


Early Life (1875-1950)

  • Son of former slaves

  • Father helped Union soldiers

  • Father moved family to W. Virginia, heard there was a high school for blacks

  • Carter worked in mines

  • Attended school in spare time


Education

  • Received his high school diploma at age 20

  • B.S.- Berea College, KY

  • Masters – University of Chicago (1908)

  • Ph.D in History – Havard

  • Only 2nd African American to earn Harvard Degree

  • Who was the first?

University of Chicago

1st college in South to coed & integrated, every student receives a scholarship.

Harvard Canteen


Career as an educator

  • High School Teacher in Washington, D.C.

  • Principal

  • School supervisor in the Philippines

  • College Professor at Howard University


“African American contributions to U.S History were ignored, overlooked, and suppressed”

Urged for research

Highlighted the achievements of great African Americans

Activist - "I am not afraid of being sued by white businessmen. In fact, I should welcome such a law suit. It would do the cause much good. Let us banish fear. We have been in this mental state for three centuries. I am a radical. I am ready to act, if I can find brave men to help me”

Too radical even for the NAACP, he cancelled his membership with them,

“African american past must be researched!


He Highlighted great African Americans

Crispus Attucks – 1st martyr of American Revolution

Benjamin Banneker – laid out city of Washington, D.C.

PhillisWheatly – Early American Poetess

W.E.B. Dubois (William Edward Burghardt) – Activist, Writer, Historian, Educator, Founder of NAACP

George Washington Carver – Scientist, Botanist, Educator, Inventor

Booker T. Washington – Educator, Founder of Tuskegee University


Founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (1915)

Journal of Negro History (1916)

Began Negro History Week (1926) , which led to

Black History Month (1976)

Woodson’s other Accomplishments


Asalh website – www.asalh.org

Association for the Study of Negro Life and History


Ostracized from African American leaders and educators

“Should there be a separate history?”

Many felt it unnecessary.

“Blacks were just Americans of a darker color, but Americans all the same, with the same general history.” (Woodson’s critics)

What do you think?

Faced great controversy


Woodson held to his convictions

  • Collected and preserved extensive African American History

  • Wrote several books.

  • Convinced that it is crucial that a people know of their race’s contributions to humanity!

  • In a paragraph explain why such knowledge is so crucial.

Woodson, honored in Kentucky


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