Carter G. Woodson

Margaret Adams

February is Black History Month and who better to write about than Carter G. Woodson, the founder of Black History Week in 1926.

One must read book for everyone is The Mis-Education of The Negro by Carter G. Woodson.  This book was written in 1933 by a man who was well ahead of his time and whose words still hold true today.  The Mis-Education of The Negro should be required reading for all students, and in the homes of Black families to be discussed and debated.

A little background on Dr. Carter G. Woodson:  He was born in 1875 in Virginia to a very poor coal mining family.  As a child he worked in the mines to help provide income for his family; however, when he was not working his love of learning made it possible for him to complete school and go on to get college degrees from the University of Chicago and to become the second Black person after W.E.B. Du Bois to earn a Ph.D from Harvard University. Dr. Woodson’s focus of interest was the “Negro,” and he wrote extensively about the “Negro” condition in the United States. In his preface to the book, Dr. Woodson states that the book represents reflections he had after forty years as an educator, teaching people of many different cultures and on different continents. He also admits that he has also committed errors himself as an educator, but was open to change and new information.

The Mis-Education of The Negro is a call for a community to value knowledge, to seek knowledge,  and to use knowledge for the community’s empowerment.  It is a call to look critically at the roles our churches, politicians, business people, and educators have played in the condition of Black people in the United States. This book was written to make us look at the roles we have played and how the power structure has dictated the roles we have played in this country.  We have been in this country for over 400 years; this is OUR country and we have given up a lot to make this country what it is today.  It is time that we make the time to learn about our history in our schools and in our homes. It is time to share our family histories with each other and to continue to share our history for the generations to come.

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