Dr. Carter G. Woodson: The Founder and Spirit of Black History Month By Anthony Stewart I recently did a search on Black History Month in Google and to my surprise 2,470,000 sites were listed on the subject. To my dismay, out of the top 10 sites, very little was said about the Founder of Black History Month (formerly Negro History Week) Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Even less was said about why it was formed in the first place. Dr. Carter G. Woodson created what is now known as Black History Month not just to add “The Negro” into history, but to rewrite what had been written of him. In his classic work, “The Mis-education of the Negro” Dr. Woodson details how in nearly every class and subject in school The Negro is portrayed as inferior if portrayed at all. His special talents and gifts were never highlighted in a way that would make him feel equal as a member of a multicultural society. And, in most classes, it was taught that The Negro had contributed nothing of value to civilizations present or past. Dr. Woodson started Negro History week to infuse the Negro with a proper self-image and worldview that would make him desire to unify and become a constructive force in the development of his people. So here we are today in 2008, 82 years from the inception of Negro History Week. Can we say that the spirit of Dr. Carter G. Woodson still exists in Black History Month? Every February we are reminded of pretty much the same characters…Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Frederick Douglas, W.E.B. DuBois, etc. People don their Kente Clothes and hold celebrations to recite speeches by these African American heroes. We buy a few trinkets, sing some songs and go home. Black History Month has become a month of semi-cultural events centered around corporate profit and keeping the African American mind docile, opposed to revolutionary. “…to unify and become a constructive force in the development of your people…” That thought alone is revolutionary. Dr. Carter G. Woodson wanted Negro History week to inspire us to work together to make the Black Family at least equal to other cultures economically, socially, culturally, politically and in education. He was a living and a prime example of that which he sought to achieve in all of us. Dr. Woodson was the Second African American to receive a PhD from Harvard University after receiving his Bachelors Degree from University of Illinois and studying at Sorbonne University in France. He taught in High School and was a Principal for 5 years. He studied educational systems from America to Malaysia and went on to become the Supervisor of Schools in the Philippines for 3 years. He was the Dean of the Liberal Arts School at Howard University. And, with all his educational accomplishments, he still found time to write as a columnist for Marcus Garvey’s Negro World. He authored over 18 books and publications dealing with the Life and History of the Negro. He started the Association for the Study of Negro Life, which published the Journal of Negro Life. He started “Associated Publishing” the oldest African American book publishing company. And, he founded Negro History Week now know as Black History Month. He accomplished all of the above to instill in us a desire for unity. And, for all of us to become a constructive force in the development of Black people. Educator, Historian, Entrepreneur, Author and Publisher, Dr. Carter G. Woodson is the Spirit of Black History month and should be remembered as such. Carter G. Woodson’s classic, “The Mis-Education of the Negro” is available to download online for the first time ever as an Audiobook, at http://www.themiseducationofthenegro.com.