The roots of Black History Month go back to 1926 when noted historian, Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950), the son of former slaves, launched the first observance of Negro History Week in February of that year. Dr. Woodson dedicated his life to documenting and preserving Black history and culture and is often called the “father of black history.” In 1915, he created the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (asalh.org), and founded the Journal of Negro History soon after. What began as Negro History Week in 1926 was first celebrated as Black History Month in 1970 at the urging of students at Kent State University.
In recognition of this year’s Black History Month theme, African Americans and the Vote, we offer a few resources for your intellectual journeys (See Syllabus). Know that at the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture we are living Black history every day and seeking to discover our roots exploring the many different routes of the African diaspora.