ARTS/CULTURE: Unsung Hero in Black History

by Hannah Bumgarner, Liam Duchelle–

Black History Month has arrived. While the occasion is noticed and celebrated by millions of Americans, its startup remains a story that hasn’t garnered serious attention. At least at the mainstream level, few people know of how Black History Month came to be what it is today.

It all started with Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a fascinating man who was the second African-American ever to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard despite not having any formal education until the age of 20. Even still, this may be only his second greatest accomplishment.

In 1926, Dr. Woodson pioneered the introduction of what was then called “Negro History Week”. The week of recognition was intended to align with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas; which is why the now month-long event occurs in February. Due to his contributions to the celebration and empowerment of African-Americans, Dr. Woodson later became known as the “father of black history”.

From a more local perspective, here at Virginia Tech student organizations are making efforts to shed light on the struggles of the African-American. Acknowledgment that these struggles still exist is the first step to creating a movement for change.

carter g. woodson quote

Photo by wageslaves on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

 

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