Carter Godwin Woodson – The Father Of Black History
Carter Godwin Woodson is my favorite historian and if it wasn’t for him, we would not have a month dedicated to black history in North America. I became aware of Carter G Woodson’s work in the fall of 2012. I was at home listening to a 2004 recording of the Nation Of Islam’s 2004 Annual Saviors’ Day on a VHS tape titled “Reparations: What Does America And Europe Owe? What Does Allah(God) Promise? The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan gave a speech and shared one of Carter G Woodson’s famous quotes about a nation who doesn’t know its history is at risk of being exterminated. I made sure to take note of the name in order to look him up later. When I looked him up I discovered his book “The Mis-Education of the Negro.” Carter Godwin Woodson did a great job articulating that black people of his time were being taught how to be white in a black person’s body in the schools of America, from kindergarten right up to college.
Carter Godwin Woodson was born on December 19, 1875, and died of a sudden heart attack in his home on April 30, 1950, he was 74 years old. He was a very accomplished man in his day. When considering the era Mr. Woodson lived in… the list of accolades is very impressive. When he graduated and earned his doctorate in history at the University of Harvard in 1912, he became only the second black man to do so at that time. Dr. Woodson was the leading force behind establishing a curriculum in African-American history in schools and colleges in North America. That’s why he has earned the nickname “The Father of Black History.”
Negro History Week
Originally, Black History Month was celebrated for only one week. In 1926 Carter Godwin Woodson introduced Negro History Week. An annual week-long celebration to acknowledge the accomplishments of black people in the world. Dr. Woodson chose the second week of February to celebrate the event to commemorate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln(Born in February) and Frederick Douglas(Born In February) two influential people in his life. Negro History Week was extended to a month-long celebration in the year 1976 and renamed Black History Month.
The Mis-Education Of The Negro
Carter G Woodson is an inspiration. His book, The Mis-Education Of The Negro, is a must read for everyone. If you have ever asked yourself “Why do black athletes always seem to date and marry white women after turning pro and signing that multi-million dollar contract?” This book will answer that question. If you have ever asked yourself “Why do educated black people abandon their community after graduating from college?” This book will answer that question. If you ever wonder why so called leaders charge you to listen to them give a lecture on how to be free in north America, this book will explain. I will end this post with an excerpt from Carter Godwin Woodson’s book, below.
If theNegro could abandon the idea of leadership and instead stimulate a larger number of the race to take up definite tasks and sacrifice their time and energy in doing these things efficiently the race might accomplish something. The race needs workers, not leaders. Such workers will solve the problem which race leaders talk about and raise money to enable them to talk more and more about. When you hear a man talking then, always enquire as to what he is doing or what he had done for humanity. Oratory and resolutions do not avail much. If they did, the Negro race would be in paradise on earth. it may be well to repeat here to saying that old men talk of what they have done, young men of what they are doing, and fools of what they expect to do.
The Negro race has a rather large share of the last mentioned class. If we can finally succeed in translating the idea of leadership into that of service, we may soon find it possible to lift the Negro to a higher level. Under leadership we have come into the ghetto; by service within the ranks we may work our way out of it. Under leadership we have been constrained to do the biddings of others; by service we may work out a program in the light of our own circumstances. Under leadership we have become poverty-stricken; by service we may teach the masses how to earn a living honestly. Under leadership we have been made to despise our own possibilities and to develop into parasites; by service we may prove sufficent unto the task of self-development and contribute our part to modern culture.
Carter G Woodson, The Mis-Education Of the Negro, page 81.