Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad, future generations lose momentum…
Carter G. Woodson wrote, “If you can make a man believe that he is inferior, you don’t have to compel him to seek an inferior status, he will do so without being told and if you can make a man believe that he is justly an outcast, you don’t have to order him to the back door, he will go to the back door on his own and if there is no back door, the very nature of the man will demand that you build one.” Perhaps this is why Dr. Woodson worked so tirelessly to try to eliminate the notion that Black people were an inferior group of people. As an extremely educated man (he was the 2nd Black person to get a PhD from Harvard), Woodson realized that academic institutions, particularly history departments had left out any and all achievements of Black Americans and Africans. On top of these glaring ommissions, 19th century race theory was extremely popular and the theories claimed that there was scientific evidence that Black people were inferior, less intelligent and less capable than Whites. As a historian, Dr. Woodson, determined to undo these false and unsupported ideas about Black people. One of his contributions was to start a “Negro History Week” which is now celebrated as Black History Month during February. Dr. Woodson found his niche as an historian and sought to rewrite the inaccuracies, conspiracies, and lies that he encountered. In your profession, what untruths have you experienced? How will you help dismantle them for future generations? Dr. Woodson reminds us that if we don’t like what we see or hear, we can use our resources, talents, and abilities to do something about it.