Carter G. Woodson

Recent Articles

Black History Month: now more than ever







By Marc H. Morial

Guest Commentator


“There is no more powerful force than a people steeped in their history. And there is no higher cause than honoring our struggle and ancestors by remembering.” — Lonnie Bunch, founding director, National Museum of African American History and Culture


Ever since the 2009 election of Barack Obama as America’s first Black president and the 100th anniversary of the National Urban League in 2010, the perennial debate about the need for Black History Month has intensified. Some have questioned the need for a special month to recognize the many unknown and unsung achievements of African Americans. With Obama as president, the logic goes, we have now achieved Dr. King’s dream of a non-racial America where everyone is judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I wish it were so. Continue Reading →

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Nominally Free…



Starting this blog just after we celebrate the 150th year of the Emancipation Proclamation’s inauguration seems fitting.  Because much of what will be written in this blog will range from the historical context of the plight of Africans here in America to how the construct of our plight has not changed.  All of it will revolve around how this construct plays out in the often time ignored topic of micro-economics. When discussing micro-economics–especially the concepts for micro-economy (or lack thereof) of African-Americans (often referred to as Black economy)—we see that not much has changed since the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.   Now this isn’t to say there has not been a vast quality of life improvement for Blacks, we certainly see that play out in our daily lives.  We see the freedoms we have in places we can now travel, people we can now wed, professions we can now enter, and elected offices we can now hold.  However, while the fire hoses were turned off, the dogs put back on chains, the ropes taken off of the lynching trees, the shackles and fetters removed from flesh;  Carter G. Woodson describes the times in which we now live with the following quote from his book The Mis-Education of the Negro, “The poverty which afflicted them for a generation after Emancipation held them down to the lowest order of society, nominally free but economically enslaved.” In order to understand what he means by this we need look no further than the percentage of wealth that is housed within the black population of this country in 2012 (Black folks have accumulated almost 1% of the wealth in this country); then look at the percentage of wealth for black folks in 1862, a year before the Emancipation Proclamation became effective (less than 1%). We also know that resources or the accumulation of resources is what generates wealth. Continue Reading →

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Lincoln, the movie: What’s missing?

By Gary L. Flowers

Guest Commentator


“‘Negro History’ is the missing segment of world history.” — Carter G. Woodson

Carter G. Woodson was right when he essentially said that Black history is the missing pages of world history. Never was such so true than in the movie Lincoln. While I, as a “weekend historian,” was impressed by Daniel Day Lewis’ portrayal of the 16th president of the United States, my knowledge of history begged questions: “Why were Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman not portrayed or mentioned?” or “Why was the ancient Egyptian mathematical formula attributed to the Greek mathematician Euclid?”

The movie Lincoln is politically presidential, yet porous on people who influenced the end of the American Civil War. The holes in the Steven Spielberg’s epic film are rooted in Hollywood’s tendency to omit key historical personalities and events from biopics. History reminds us that Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth all played significant roles in the American Civil War, and thus in the decisions of President Lincoln. Continue Reading →

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What you can do to preserve Black history — and why you should



”When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his ‘proper place’ and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. Continue Reading →

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