Carter Godwin Woodson was known as the Father
of Black History. He was born into poverty in New Canton,
Virginia on December 19, 1875. He had very little formal schooling as
a young man. He entered high school at the age of 20 and in less than
two years received his high school diploma at the age of 21.
Carter supported himself and paid for
his education by working in the coal mines of West Virginia and later
teaching school. He graduated from Berea College in 1903, obtained his
masters from the University of Chicago in 1908 and his PHD from
Harvard in 1912.
He served as the dean of the liberal
arts college at Howard University from 1919 to 1920 and as dean at
West Virginia State College from 1920 to 1922.
Woodson founded the Association
for the Study of Negro Life and History, (known today as: The
Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History)
in 1915 and the Journal of Negro History in 1916. He was
the moving force and guiding light in making Black Studies a
respectable academic pursuit. He succeeded in freeing black studies
from the traditional biases of the times as previously recorded by
Most publishers of the time would not
accept works by Afro-Americans, so Woodson, provided them with an
outlet for their work by establishing Associated Publishers, Inc.
He was the author of many scholarly
works on Black History such as The Negro in Our History.
In 1937 he began publishing The Negro History Bulletin
and in his later years spent his time editing the six volume Encyclopedia
Carter Godwin Woodson died in
Washington, D.C. on April 4, 1950.