The son of former slaves, Carter G. Woodson was refused entry to the segregated schools of his native Canton, Virginia. His formal education didn’t begin until age 20, when he moved to West Virginia. Eventually, he became the second African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Dr. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life (now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History - ASALH) to publish historical works by and about African Americans. He founded the Negro History Bulletin and the Journal of Negro History. In February 1926, he launched Negro History Week, which is still celebrated today as Black History Month.
From 1915 until his death in 1950, Dr. Woodson lived and operated his Association from a row house in the Shaw section of Washington, D.C. This area’s deep African-American roots include the nearby Shiloh Baptist Church, the Lincoln Theatre, the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA, and Howard University.
The three-story Victorian at 1538 9th Street, NW, is a fine example of 1890s urban architecture. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and acquired by the National Park Service in 2005, it is currently closed to the public pending rehabilitation. Once reopened, the home will tell the story of Dr. Woodson’s lifelong efforts to document African-American history.
If You Go
The home is currently closed to the public, pending renovation. Interpretive programs about Dr. Woodson can be found through the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site.
State:District of Columbia
NPCA REGION:Mid-Atlantic Regional Office
Acreage:Less than 1
Category:National Historic Site
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