With Black History Month coming to an end, we would like to let everyone know of Berea’s special connection to Black History Month. Black History Month, as many may know, is the month designated for learning and honoring what Black / African American people who have contributed to history. Although February is the shortest month of the year and Black History is American History we still recognize the month as much. Berea’s special connection to Black History Month is linked to a man named Carter G. Woodson.
In 1926, Woodson launched what he was called “Negro History Week.” In 1976, that would transform into Black History Month as we know it today. You may be wondering what all of this has to do with Berea College. Well Carter G. Woodson arrived at Berea College in 1897 from formerly enslaved parents in Virginia. Determined to receive an education Woodson, taught himself the fundamentals of common school subjects until he was 17 years old. After that when he was 20 years old Woodson, simultaneously worked as a West Virginia coal miner and as a student, earning his high school diploma in less than two years. He would later graduate from Berea College with a bachelor’s of Literature. After leaving Berea College, Woodson also went to the University of Chicago where he received another bachelor’s and master’s degree. As impressive as that may seem he does not stop there. Woodson then when to the Sorbonne in Paris and finally to Harvard University where he earned a Ph.D. in history. He is the second African American to graduate from Harvard following W.E.B. DuBois. After he received his degree from Harvard he became an African American historian and writer. Here at the Visitor Center and Shoppe, we salute Carter G. Woodson for the advancement he made in United States history. We also could not be more proud that he is an alumnus of Berea College.