California Multicultural Society

Learning

Black History Month

The celebration of Black History Month is credited to Dr. Carter G. Woodson who was born to parents who were former slaves. Woodson spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at age twenty. He graduated within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard.

The United States has recognized black history annually since 1926. It was first called “Negro History Week” and was later named “Black History Month.”

When the tradition originated, black history in the United States had not formally begun to be studied. Although black people have been in America at least as far back as colonial times, it was not until the 20th century that they gained a prominent presence in history books.


Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson

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