Woodson's conviction of Blacks’ getting a good education was key and as he stated it in his book “The Mis-Education of the Negro,” he writes: "When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.
This month as we celebrate Black history let us first reflect on the who, what, why and where this observance began.
It is paramount that we not only review the history of our contributions to
In 1926 the first efforts began with Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson initiating the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded in mid- February with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Later, the observance was expanded to the entire month.
Woodson was born Dec. 19, 1875, in New Canton, Virginia, the son of former slaves James and Elizae Riddle Woodson. His father helped Union soldiers during the Civil War and later moved his family to Huntington,
Wanting more education, Woodson went to
In 1895, at age 20, Woodson entered
the only racially integrated college in
Perhaps it was because of these two outstanding Black students that many years later another scholarly African American student was admitted to Harvard, Barack Obama, the 44th president of the
Dr. Woodson who is known as the, “Father of Black History Month” was a strong proponent and had a firm belief that if the Negro secured a good education they would overcome many of the atrocities they suffered due to the lack of a good education. If Woodson were here today he would be devastated because of the staggering high school dropout rate which is more than 50% among African American students nationally.
Seemingly today’s drop-out’s tend disregard the struggle to place “Afro-American History” and distortion of the facts concerning Negroes in most history books, which deprived Black children and the whole race of a heritage, and relegated them to nothingness and nobodyness.
Woodson's conviction of Blacks’ getting a good education was key and as he stated it in his book “The Mis-Education of the Negro,” he writes: "When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his ‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary.” Although Woodson died on April 3, 1950, he had donated his collection of 5,000 items from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries to the Library of Congress.
May God bless his works, now and forevermore. Lets’ celebrate throughout this month.