Carter G. Woodson
Birthplace: New Canton, Virginia
Taught to read by family members, Woodson worked as a coal miner in West Virginia and put himself through high school. He graduated from Berea College in Kentucky in 1903. Hired to teach English in the Philippines, Woodson studied Romance languages through correspondence courses. After returning to the U.S., he began teaching at Dunbar High School in Washington, DC. In 1912 he earned a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He was the second African American to earn a Harvard doctorate. Woodson was an active promoter of Black education. He founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, the Journal of Negro History, the Associated Publishers, and Negro History Bulletin. In 1926, he began promoting Negro History Week during the second week of February to celebrate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In the 1960s it became Black History Month.