From the ASALH website

Dr. Carter G. Woodson  (1875-1950), known as the “Father of Black History,” founded the ASALH (Association for the Study of African American Life and History) on this day in 1915.


Carter G. Woodson, son of former slaves, earned his PhD from Harvard and came to be called the “Father of Black History.” He founded ASALH in 1915.

The son of former slaves, Woodson understood how important gaining a proper education is when striving to secure and make the most out of one’s divine right of freedom. Although he did not begin his formal education until he was 20 years old, his dedication to study enabled him to earn a high school diploma in West Virginia and bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of Chicago in just a few years. In 1912, Woodson became the second African American to earn a PhD at Harvard University.

Under Woodson’s pioneering leadership, ASALH created research and publication outlets for black scholars with the establishment of the Journal of Negro History (1916) and the Negro History Bulletin (1937), which garners a popular public appeal.

In 1926, Dr. Woodson initiated the celebration of Negro History Week, which corresponded with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.  In 1976, this celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February, and today Black History Month garners support throughout the country as people of all ethnic and social backgrounds discuss the black experience.  ASALH views the promotion of Black History Month as one of the most important components of advancing Dr. Woodson’s legacy.

The organization continues Woodson’s legacy of speaking a fundamental truth to the world – that Africans and peoples of African descent are makers of history and co-workers in what W. E. B. Du Bois called, “The Kingdom of Culture.” ASALH’s mission is to create and disseminate knowledge about Black History, to be the nexus between the Ivory Tower and the global public.


The Gift, by Charles Bibbs.

In honor of all the work that Dr. Carter G. Woodson has done to promote the study of African American History, an ornament of Woodson hangs on the White House’s Christmas tree each year.

ASALH is holding its 97th annual convention in Pittsburgh PA from September 26 to 30th on the theme: Black Women in American Culture and History.