On February 7, 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week, marking a significant milestone in the recognition of African-American history. Revered as “The Father of Black History,” Woodson designated the second week of February for this observance. In 1976, Negro History Week was expanded to encompass the entire month of February, becoming Black History Month.
Born to formerly enslaved parents, Woodson earned a PhD from Harvard University. He specifically chose the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist Frederick Douglass (Feb. 14) and President Abraham Lincoln.
In 1933, Woodson wrote in “The Mis-Education of the Negro“: “History shows that it does not matter who is in power or what revolutionary forces take over the government; those who have not learned to do for themselves and rely solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they had in the beginning.”