Carter G. Woodson, The Father of Black History at the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Found in 1966 Negro History Kit

As we observe Black History Month we look to Carter G. Woodson, who is known as the Father of Black History. Rose Library holds a collection of materials from Woodson’s library which includes, correspondence, photographs, and books.

Woodson with the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, an organization he helped found announced the first Negro History Week in February of 1926. Woodson chose February because the birthdates of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln fell within the month, and many black communities began celebrating these days in the late 19th century.

Program, Annual Meeting ASNLH, 1933

With the Civil Rights Movement and the push of the Black Power movement of the 1970s, students and like-minded individuals nationwide began working on initiatives to create Black History Month. In 1976, The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now the Association for the Study of African American History), shifted to Black History Month on the 50th anniversary of the first Negro History Week.


“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.”
― Carter G. Woodson


Correspondence from Woodson, 1927


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