Google doodle celebrates the father of Black History Month, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, today, February 1st, which marks the beginning of the month long celebration of black history in the U.S. and Canada.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson was born in 1875 near New Canton, VA. He was the son of former slaves, Anna Eliza Riddle Woodson and James Woodson.
In 1915, Dr. Carter G. Woodson and friends established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. A year later, the Journal of Negro History, began quarterly publication.
Woodson lobbied schools and organizations to participate in a special program to encourage the study of African-American history, which began in February 1926 with Negro History Week. The program was later expanded and renamed Black History Month.
It is said that he chose February for the observance because February 12th was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and February 14th was the accepted birthday of Frederick Douglass.
Dr. Woodson was the founder of Associated Publishers, the founder and editor of the Negro History Bulletin, and the author of more than 30 books. His best known publication is The Mis-Education of the Negro, originally published in 1933 and still pertinent today.
Additional books from the author include A Century of Negro Migration (1918), The History of the Negro Church (1921) and The Negro in Our History (1922). Woodson also penned literature for elementary and secondary school students.
After attending Berea College in Kentucky, Woodson worked for the U.S. government as an education superintendent in the Philippines. He undertook more travels before returning stateside to continue his studies, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago.
Woodson went on to receive a doctorate from Harvard University in 1912, becoming just the second African American to earn a Ph.D. from the prestigious institution, after W.E.B. Du Bois. After finishing his education, Woodson dedicated himself to the field of African-American history.
Woodson died on April 3, 1950, a respected and honored figure who received accolades for his vision. His legacy continues on, with Black History Month being a national cultural force recognized by a variety of media formats, organizations and educational institutions.
Woodson’s accomplishments are also remembered through the University of Virginia’s Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, and the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Black History Month is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February, as well as in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in October.