Carter G. Woodson Launches Black History Week Timelines: Catto Postscript

Woodson’s effort represented the much needed work, identified by Benjamin Tanner (Catto’s close friend and ally) more than 50 years earlier, to show the important contributions that black people made to world civilizations. Woodson also contended that the teaching of this history “was essential to the physical and intellectual survival of the black race in society”. The Journal of Negro History was Carter’s main vehicle for disseminating African American heritage. By 1976, Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers, both great and small, when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month, during the U.S. Bicentennial. Ford urged all Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”