Carter G. Woodson

Quick Look At Woodson

Carter G. Woodson was known as the "Father of Black History." He was a celebrated author, editor, publisher, and historian. One of his most famous books is "The Mis-Education of the Negro."

Early Life

Woodson was born on December 19, 1875, in New Canton, Virginia. He was the fourth of seven children to Anna and James Woodson. As a boy, he worked as a sharecropper and a miner so that he could be of financial help to his family. When he was in high school, he completed a four-year course of study in less than two years!


After high school, he became a teacher, and by 1900, Woodson was the principal of Douglass High School. After having experienced two jobs in education, he earned his bachelor's degree in literature from Berea College in Kentucky. He then worked as a superintendent in the Philippines for the U.S. government. After working in the Philippines, he studied abroad, traveling throughout Asia and Europe before earning his M.A. from the University of Chicago. Woodson then went on to complete his third degree, a doctorate in history which he earned from Harvard University in 1912. This made him just the second African American to earn a doctorate from a prestigious college, W.E.B. Du Bois being the first. Following this degree, he became quite fond of history and wanted to be sure that it was taught correctly. He believed that history was not the mere gathering of facts. The object of historical study is to arrive at a reasonable interpretation of the facts. In 1915, Woodson, among many others founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. In 1926, he developed Negro History Week, which later evolved into an entire month designated to recognizing and celebrating Black history. This is the month we know today as Black History Month; February. In 1937, Woodson published the first issue of a book he wrote called Negro History Bulletin. This is one of the many books that he published about Black history, but his most famous book is called "The Mis-Education of the Negro." Woodson died on April 3rd, 1950.

Woodson dedicated his life to ensuring that Black history was taught. There is still a lot missing in terms of what is taught and known about Black history, but without Carter G. Woodson, I likely would not be able to have the information to write about all these amazing Black historical figures.