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“If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think, you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.”
Historian Carter G. Woodson was born December 19, 1875 to former slaves in Virginia. A self-taught man driven by the freedom education could offer, he'd go on to earn his diploma from Douglass High School within two years, a Bachelor’s from Berea College, a Bachelor’s and a Master’s from the University of Chicago, and wrap up with his doctorate from Harvard. While Woodson diligently worked to increase his knowledge, he devoted his time to also help educate others with a stop in Winona, WV, a return to Douglass High School as principal, and a stint as a school supervisor in the Philippines from 1903 to 1907. He’d also lend his brain power as dean and professor at the prestigious Howard University and other institutions.
Years after his travels and dedication to the education of others, Woodson’s passion for history began to take shape as he realized how the importance of historical content could potentially help foster better race relations in a country, and world, that incorrectly believes that Black people have never contributed to the advancement of civilization. He worked relentlessly to expose the hidden - not due to a lack of effort - history of Black folks to the world. In an attempt to bring an awareness of history, Carter helped establish the Association for the Study of Negro Life and Histoty, publishes the Journal of Negro History, and created Negro History Week - now Black History Month - in DC in 1926.
This legend realized the importance a knowledge of history can play in one’s knowledge and love of self, and did all that he could to help educate as many people as possible. There is no way this introduction to this brilliant man can give him complete justice, so it is up to you to take the time to research his story and work for yourself!