Carter G. Woodson helped begin Black History month, but his accomplishments and vision have enabled the discussion to continue year round.
By Adoria Doucette
In the very first years of the 20th century, The Library of Congress and the Washington DC Public High Schools were ground zero for the earth shattering research conducted by University of Chicago graduate Carter G. Woodson. This research served as his PHD thesis at Harvard University, where he graduated as the second African American graduate in the history of Harvard. Dr. Woodson would return to our capital city to teach and later serve as Dean at Howard University.
At 1538 9th St. Northwest Washington, Woodson founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. This organization began to methodically document and publish important American history where minorities had made significant contributions.
The scholarship and passion of Dr. Woodson and his initiative inspired United States President Gerald Ford to officially create “black history month” in 1976. The President wanted to 1) Acknowledge the freedom and recognition of individual rights. 2) Honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.
Great projects have a beginning, middle and an end. Dr. Woodson had the intent to honor American History, not Black History. His hope was that a calendar celebration would be eclipsed by year round understanding of how great America is because of the contributions of all.
It is the month of March 2012, and American history continues to be extraordinary. With an African American President of the United States and prominent African Americans throughout politics, culture and economics, Power Source can proudly declare that Dr. Woodson and President Ford would be proud that we have moved beyond Black History Month.