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Why Black History Matters So Much In America
From Sarah Boone’s modern ironing board that allowed sleeves of women’s garments to be ironed more easily to the countless byproduct of the peanut invented and researched by George Washington Carter Black People have been at the forefront of innovation and social justice since the beginning of this country’s inception. Spiritual Social justice dealt a heavy hand when Richard Allen, Absalom Jones and a group of praying Black parishioners walked out of St. George Methodist Episcopal Church one day in 1787...to ultimately form the African Methodist Episcopal Church...my church for many generations.
The recognition began with Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s vision of paying tribute to “Negroes” all over the country in what started as Negro History Week in 1926. By 1976 the week became Black History Month...celebrated each February in the United States and each October in the United Kingdom.
From Harriet Tubman to Dr. Martin Luther King to young innovators like Dr. Rick Kittles Black People are truly the fabric of American culture...and
Black History IS American History!
This Year’s Theme For 2013:
2013 National Black History Theme:
At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington
Carter G. Woodson By Korey Bowers Brown
During the dawning decades of the twentieth century, it was commonly presumed that black people had little history besides the subjugation of slavery. Today, it is clear that blacks have significantly impacted the development of the social, political, and economic structures of the United States and the world. Credit for the evolving awareness of the true place of blacks in history can, in large part, be bestowed on one man, Carter G. Woodson. And, his brainchild the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc. is continuing Woodson’s tradition of disseminating information about black life, history and culture to the global community.
Known as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson (1875-1950) was the son of former slaves, and understood how important gaining a proper education is when striving to secure and make the most out of one’s divine right of freedom. Although he did not begin his formal education until he was 20 years old, his dedication to study enabled him to earn a high school diploma in West Virginia and bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago in just a few years.
In 1912, Woodson became the second African American to earn a PhD at Harvard University.
Recognizing the dearth of information on the accomplishments of blacks in 1915, Dr. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
Under Woodson’s pioneering leadership, the Association created research and publication outlets for black scholars with the establishment of the Journal of Negro History (1916) and the Negro History Bulletin (1937), which garners a popular public appeal.
In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, this celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February, and today Black History Month garners support throughout the country as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the black experience. ASALH views the promotion of Black History Month as one of the most important components of advancing Dr. Woodson’s legacy.
In honor of all the work that Dr. Carter G. Woodson has done to promote the study of African American History, an ornament of Woodson hangs on the White House's Christmas tree each year.
Source: Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)
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Carole Copeland Thomas is a 27 year speaker, trainer and consultant specializing in global diversity, empowerment, multiculturalism and leadership issues.