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How a owner of Black History Month rebutted white injustice in a lost manuscript


Carter G. Woodson, famous as a “father of black history,” was a heading historian and academician who founded a Association for a Study of Negro Life and History, a Journal of Negro History, and Negro History Week. Woodson’s book “The Mis-Education of a Negro,” that became a classic, was published in 1933. (AP Photo)
DeNeen L. Brown February 1 during 7:00 AM

On a prohibited summer afternoon in 2005, Daryl Michael Scott, a story highbrow during Howard University, found himself classification by 90 years’ value of boxes and piles of paper, looking for strange copies of “The Mis-Education of a Negro,” a classical 1933 book by Carter G. Woodson.

Woodson, a historian, academician and teacher famous as a “father of black history,” spent his life advocating for erudite research, investigate and announcement of works about a African American experience. In 1926, Woodson combined Negro History Week to applaud a birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, both in February. The week after became Negro History Month, afterwards Black History Month.

“If a competition has no history,” Woodson once wrote, “if it has no inestimable tradition, it becomes a immaterial cause in a suspicion of a world, and it stands in risk of being exterminated.”

“The Mis-Education of a Negro,” Woodson’s best-known work, became a declaration for black leaders advocating radical amicable change. In 1999, Lauryn Hill won a Grammy for her edition “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” desirous by Woodson’s classic.

The book had turn so renouned that when a strange copyright expired, thousands of copies were being sole by bootleggers unknowingly that in 1969, a book had been updated. “Everyone was book a 1969 edition,” Scott said, “which was not in a open domain.”

So, during that summer in 2005, Scott found himself in a storage section in Northwest Washington, on a goal to strengthen Woodson’s egghead property.

Scott detected files that belonged to Rayford Logan, a Howard University highbrow and a former executive executive of a Association for a Study of Negro Life and History, that Woodson had founded in 1915.

“I came opposite an envelope,” Scott remembered. “I knew it was Woodson’s essay when we non-stop a envelope. It was transparent a denunciation in a edition was Woodson’s.”

Scott, who had review probably all that Woodson had created and knew his life story, had never seen this manuscript.

Woodson’s arise to inflection had been meteoric. He was innate on Dec. 19, 1875, in New Canton, Va., to relatives who were before enslaved. Woodson began his grave preparation when he was 19, enrolling in an all-black high school.

He went on to college, graduating from a University of Chicago with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in story in 1908. Four years later, Woodson became a second black male to acquire a PhD during Harvard University. (William Edward Burghardt “W.E.B.” Du Bois was a first. )

In 1922, Woodson founded Associated Publishers, a book agency, that he operated from his residence in Washington’s Shaw neighborhood. When Woodson died in 1950, he left behind mounds of documents. Most were sorted and donated to a Library of Congress.

Fifty-five years after Woodson died, Scott, a story highbrow who suspicion he had review all created by Woodson, was bewildered to find a typewritten edition patrician “The Case of a Negro.”

Woodson’s handwritten records were scrawled in a margins.

Scott’s investigate suggested that “The Case of a Negro” had been created during a ask of dual black men, Channing Tobias and Jesse Moorland, who were distinguished in a YMCA’s transformation for African Americans. They asked Woodson to write a paper rebutting a 1912 book, “Present Forces in Negro Progress,” created by W.D. Weatherford.

Weatherford, who was white, was afterwards a obvious enthusiast of black intellectuals, Scott said. He was also racist, dismissing black people as “a pleasant competition best fit for abounding in Africa.”

Woodson’s come-back in “The Case of a Negro” was a slicing amicable critique of white injustice and a invulnerability of a black race. It showed a radical side of Woodson, Scott said.

Its opening divide was blistering: “Exactly what a Negro is in a anthropomorphic clarity is no some-more a confusing doubt than a secular start of a supposed white man,” Woodson wrote. “The normal Caucasian is no nearer a deputy of a singular form and in many cases no nearer to a tangible white male than many supposed Negroes.”

When Woodson finished his rebuttal, Tobias and Moorland corroborated out. It is expected that Woodson motionless not to tell a edition since he did not wish to annoy financial backers.

Scott’s rediscovery of a edition was applauded by scholars and students of Woodson’s work.

In a book “African American History Reconsidered,” Pero Dagbovie argues that “The Case of a Negro” was an critical predecessor to a classical “Mis-Education of a Negro,” created 13 years later.

“The Case of a Negro,” Dagbovie argues, is a transparent “expression of Woodson’s early radicalism” and should be deliberate “an critical request of early twentieth-century African American egghead history.”

Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, chair of a story dialect during Harvard, said

Woodson “found his voice in 1933 with ‘The Mis-Education of a Negro.’ That is a some-more worldly critique. . . . It was a critique of white historians who were extremist and African Americans who did not consider African American story was critical in a initial place.”

“The Mis-Education of a Negro” points to a unapproachable birthright of black people in a country, pronounced Higginbotham, who called it

“the expansion of ‘The Case of a Negro.’”


Carter G. Woodson bought a three-story residence during 1538 Ninth St. NW in Washington on Jul 18, 1922, for $8,000, according to a National Park Service. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

Woodson’s house, now a National Historic Landmark, still stands during 1538 Ninth St. in Northwest Washington. The three-story, 10-room house, that Woodson purchased in 1922 for $8,000, was a heart of activity for black intellectuals, writers, scholars, educators and poets.

The luminaries enclosed Charles H. Wesley, Lorenzo Johnson Green, Lawrence Dunbar Reddick and John Hope Franklin, who all worked for Woodson. Alain Locke, Du Bois, polite rights romantic Mary Church Terrell, Mary McLeod Bethune and Arturo Alfonso Schomburg visited. Woodson gave author Zora Neale Hurston a extend for research. In 1925, Langston Hughes began operative for Woodson.

“My pursuit was to open a bureau in a mornings, keep it clean, hang and mail books, support in responding a mail, review proofs, bank a furnace during night when Dr. Woodson was away,” Hughes wrote in 1950.

Woodson was untiring in his advocacy for recording black history, mostly operative 18-hour days.

“Those operative with him occasionally wished to keep a same pace,” Hughes wrote. “One time Dr. Woodson went divided on a outing that those of us in his bureau suspicion would take about a week. Instead, he came behind on a third day and found us all in a shipping room personification cards. Nobody got fired. Instead he requested a participation in his investigate where he gave us a prolonged and really critical speak on a responsibilities to a work, to story and to a Negro race.”

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Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2019/02/01/how-founder-black-history-month-refuted-white-racism-forgotten-manuscript/

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