It’s Black History Month, so I am continuing with the series of posts regarding Shaw resident and Father of Black History, Carter G. “Grumpypants” Woodson and his book The Mis-Education of the Negro, published in 1933. I’ll get to the grumpy pants part later. Here’s a link to Woodson’s Wikipedia page, but I’d like to flesh out the history of Black History Month.
Prior to 1926, when Woodson created Negro History Week, he had already laid the foundation for African-American history scholarship with the founding of Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in 1915. Negro History Week was to be the same week when Americans were celebrating the birthday of President Abraham Lincoln (2/12/1809) and Orator and Abolitionist Frederick Douglass (2/14?/1818). It is not just a matter of suggesting Negro History Week, he and the ASALH promoted it so that it became a regular observance. In the 60s it unofficially expanded into a whole month and in 1976 President Gerald Ford made the month official.
But back to Woodson and this book and this chapter. Once again, Woodson has bad things to say about Black college graduates and praise for Black business. I’m going to split this into two posts because there are two themes in this chapter. The first theme is AfAm college graduates are somewhat useless to the Black race. The second is related, AfAm college graduates are a drain if not a detriment to Black business. Yes, surprising from the father of Black history, if you knew nothing else about him. He makes a fairly good point in his argument and his goal is ultimately the betterment of the Black/Negro race. However, you’re not going to get to a better place with false praise and excuses. Let’s get into this. Continue reading Carter G. Woodson- Chapter 5: The Failure to Learn to Make a Living part 1