Dr. John E. Warren
The father of Black History was Carter G. Woodson (1875 -1950). He did not begin his formal education until he was 20 years old. He earned a high school diploma in West Virginia, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at the University of Chicago, and in 1912 he became the second African American to earn a PhD from Harvard University. In 1915 he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (later named the Association for the Study of African American Life and History). He created research and publication outlets for Black Scholars with the establishment of the Journal of Negro History in 1916, and in 1926 initiated the celebration of Negro History Week to correspond with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976 the celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February. This year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History celebrates 88 years with the theme “Civil Rights In America”.
We thought these facts important reminders of who we are and how far we have come on the backs of so many others. Having said this, there are a few things we can do individually to compliment our historic struggle. For one, we can learn the words to “Lift Every Voice,” better known as the “Negro National Anthem”. We can also realize that we have an obligation to help each other and that our awareness and concern for who we are must extend beyond the month of February.
Let us remember that the struggle continues and that we are a part of it whether we like it or not.