Educational Organizations

What is the purpose of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History?

In 1915 the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, since 1972 known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, was organized by Carter G. Woodson (1875–1950) as the first learned society specifically devoted to the professional study of black history. The association’s first meeting was on September 9, 1915, in the office of the Wabash Avenue YMCA in Chicago. Woodson was born in New Canton, Virginia, and educated at Berea College in Kentucky (B.Litt., 1907), the University of Chicago (B.A., 1907; M.A., 1908) and Harvard (Ph.D., 1912). The first issue of the Journal of Negro History appeared in 1916. This organization first sponsored Negro History Week in 1926. Since 1976, the celebration has been known as Black History Month. In 1926 Woodson, who became known as the “Father of Black History,” received the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for his contributions to the advancement of black people.


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