Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Carter G. Woodson, September 9, 1915
Perhaps no field of study is more crucial to the understanding of jazz than that of the African-American, or Black Studies. Carter G. Woodson, often considered to be the father of Black History, founded on this day in 1915 the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. It behooves us to be responsible for our own education. As Malcom X said, "If you don't know, learn. If you do know, teach." The name of the organization Woodson founded has changed. It is now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. But its mission stays the same. The crisis in access to education continues, see Cecil Brown's Dude, Where's My Black Studies Department?. The fight that began with Woodson, and continued with people such as Nathan Hare, who founded the first Black Studies Department, to tell our own story, continues to this day. Therefore, it is imperative that we not only honor Woodson and his example but also honor ourselves. Ours is a story of dignity and triumph, best told by us.