This Day in Black History: Jan. 1, 1916

This Day in Black History: Jan. 1, 1916

The father of Black history, Carter G. Woodson helped to define African-American history with "The Journal of Negro History."

Published January 1, 2014

In the early 1900s, there were few publications about Black Americans written by Black Americans. But when historian and “The Founder of Black History” Carter G. Woodson published the first issue of The Journal of Negro History on January 1, 1916, it set the precedence for Black literacy and helped to define African-American history.

The first Journal of Negro History was a quarterly journal which published the latest research and findings in the African-American community. The Journal denounced the idea that Black-Americans had no history in America. Early editions touched on topics such as the U.S. reparations movements, African American women in slavery and freedom and a host of other significant topics.  

The son of former slaves, Woodson learned the importance of education at an early age. Although he did not begin his formal education until the age of 20, Woodson was was dedicated to learning and became the second African-American to earn a PhD at Harvard University in 1912.

The Journal of Negro History was renamed The Journal of African American History in 2002 when it began being edited by V. P. Franklin of Dilliard University. The publication is still printed today.

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(Photo: Wiki Commons)

Written by Dominique Zonyéé


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