we now call Black History Month was originated in 1926 by Carter Godwin
Woodson as Negro History Week. The month of February was selected in deference
to Frederick Douglass and Abraham
Lincoln who were both born in that month.
The son of a slave, Carter G. Woodson
was born in New Canton, Virginia on December 19, 1875. He began high school
at the age of 20 and then proceeded to study at Berea College, the University
of Chicago, the Sorbonne, and Harvard University, where he earned a Ph.D.
Carter G. Woodson founded the Association
for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915 to train Black historians
and to collect, preserve, and publish documents on Black life and Black
people. He also founded the Journal of Negro History (1916), Associated
Publishers (1922), and the Negro Bulletin (1937). Woodson spent his life
working to educate all people about the vast contributions made by Black
men and women throughout history. Mr. Woodson died on April 3, 1950 and
Black History Month is his legacy.
Carter G. Woodson, however, would
be sad to know that out of all the hundreds of Black men and women who
produced so many substantial inventions (from the development of crop rotation,
the traffic light, the mail box, gas mask, fountain pen, typewriter, telegraph,
golf tee, automatic gear shift, commode toilet--- to the method of dry
cleaning clothes, the electric lamp, and the automatic car coupler and
air brake for the railroad) benefiting this country, only four Black inventors
have been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.
During the last four years, the Patent
and Trademark Office has been working closely with the National Inventors
Hall of Fame Foundation to rectify this situation and honor the true story
of Black History.
The four black inventors inducted
into the National Inventors Hall of Fame are:
with >>> Black
Inventors A to Z
Text By Frankie Cox for the United
States Patent and Trademark Office
Photo Credit Carter Godwin Woodson
©Oak Ridge National Laboratory