Black History Month Pathfinder

Black History Pathfinder

Biographies / Hotlists Civil Rights African Connections

The History of Black History

by Elissa Haney

Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as "Negro History Week" and later as "Black History Month." What you might not know is that black history had barely begun to be studied or even documented when the tradition originated. Although blacks have been in America at least as far back as colonial times, it was not until the 20th century that they gained a respectable presence in the history books.

Blacks Absent from History Books

We owe the celebration of Black History Month, and more importantly, the study of black history, to Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Born to parents who were former slaves, he spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at age twenty. He graduated within two years and later went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. The scholar was disturbed to find in his studies that history books largely ignored the black American population and when blacks did figure into the picture, it was generally in ways that reflected the inferior social position they were assigned at the time.

Established Journal of Negro History

Woodson, always one to act on his ambitions, decided to take on the challenge of writing black Americans into the nation's history. He established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History) in 1915, and a year later founded the widely respected Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he launched Negro History Week as an initiative to bring national attention to the contributions of black people throughout American history.

Black History Links

Black History Biographies:

African American Odyssey
GaleGroup Biographies

Black History Hotlists:

Encyclopedia Britannica
Franklin Institute Hotlist
Librarian's Index Hotlist
Information Please Almanac
Pacific Bell Hotlist
Universal Black Pages Hotlist


Civil Rights Movement:

Brown vs. Board of Ed.
Civil Rights Legislation
Civil Rights Topics
Civil Rights Law and History
Historic Sites of Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights Timeline
History of Jim Crow
Jim Crow Laws Links
Montgomery Bus Boycott
Plessy vs. Ferguson
Watson Organization

African Countries:

African Countries:UPENN
African Countries:LOC
African Countries:Dept.of State
African Countries:CIA World Factbook

African Culture:

African Ceremonies
African Cooking and Recipes
African Festivals
African Society and Culture: Links from Yahoo Reference
African Society and Culture: Links from a Missionary
African Storytelling

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