Carter G. Woodson

Born: 19th December 1875

Died: 3rd April 1950

Birth Place: Uruguay

Known for: Being an African American historian.

He is known as the Father of Black History.

In 1926, he received the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal.

He founded what would become Black History Month.

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

Life story


Early life


Carter G. Woodson was a famous African American historian, author, journalist, and creator of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. When he was young, he had to work in coal mines in Kentucky. He couldn’t go to high school until he was nearly 20 years old, because his family was poor and he had to work. He was a fast learner, and so he finished high school in two years. He became the principal of Douglass High School.


Avid learner


Woodson loved learning. He went to University in Chicago, and then Harvard, where he earned his PhD. He found it hard to get a job, but eventually he found one at Howard University. His passion was Black history. Black history was usually ignored, or not told well, by white historians. He tried to get people to study Black history, and published the Journal of Negro History which ran for over thirty years. He started the Association for the Study of African American Life and History in 1915.


Carter G. Woodson started the Negro History Week in February 1926. This later turned into Black History Month, which is still celebrated today.


Woodson’s work was very important for changing the way that people wrote about Black history. He got lots of important positions and awards for his work during his lifetime.

What type of history did Carter G. Woodson study? What association did Carter G. Woodson set up? What celebration did Carter G. Woodson start in 1926 which is still celebrated today as Black History Month?

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