As we mark Black History month throughout February, I want to give a shout out to our Department of Civil Rights. Employees there are sharing information each day on the department Face Book page Join me in taking a regular look at the page, which contains some really important and interesting information. This page is one example.

Did you know? Black History Month originated in 1926 by Carter Godwin Woodson. Born in 1875, Woodson earned a PhD in history at Harvard University. He felt that the American Historical Association (AHA) had no interest in Black history, noting that although he was a dues-paying member of the AHA, he was not allowed to attend AHA conferences. He became convinced that he had no future in the white-dominated historical profession. Carter Woodson

Woodson then researched and wrote several books about African American history. He believed that history belonged to everyone, not just historians. In January 1916, Woodson began publication of the scholarly Journal of Negro History. It has never missed an issue, despite the Great Depression, loss of support from foundations, and two World Wars. In 2002, it was renamed the Journal of African American History and continues to be published by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).

As part of his passion for Black history, he promoted the first Negro History Week in Washington, D. C. The month of February was selected in honor of Frederick Douglass & Abraham Lincoln, who were both born that month.

Frederick DouglasFor more information on services provided by the Department of Civil Rights, access their website:

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This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.

Category: Equity