When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual,
"Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Martin Luther King...I have a dream
The Origins of Black History Month
What we now call Black History Month was originated in 1926 by Carter Godwin Woodson as Negro History Week. The month of February was selected in deference to Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln who were both born in that month.
The son of a slave, Carter G. Woodson was born in New Canton, Virginia on December 19, 1875. He began high school at the age of 20 and then proceeded to study at Berea College, the University of Chicago, the Sorbonne, and Harvard University, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1912.
Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915 to train Black historians and to collect, preserve, and publish documents on Black life and Black people. He also founded the Journal of Negro History (1916), Associated Publishers (1922), and the Negro Bulletin (1937).
Woodson spent his life working to educate all people about the vast contributions made by Black men and women throughout history. Mr. Woodson died on April 3, 1950 and Black History Month is his legacy.
Carter G. Woodson, however, would be sad to know that out of all the hundreds of Black men and women who produced so many substantial inventions (from the development of crop rotation, the traffic light, the mail box, gas mask, fountain pen, typewriter, telegraph, golf tee, automatic gear shift, commode toilet--- to the method of dry cleaning clothes, the electric lamp, and the automatic car coupler and air brake for the railroad) benefiting this country, only four Black inventors have been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.