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In 1940 Carter G. Woodson wrote to his fellow Americans: “Do not let the role which you have played be obscured while others write themselves into the foreground of your story” ( Negro History Bulletin , February 1940). Woodson and the members of the organization that he founded played a very important role in fighting the negative stereotypes of African Americans that were created during slavery. In the fight against racism in America, history itself has always been an important battleground. Woodson and his colleagues tackled this huge task by researching, writing, and promoting a truthful history of African Americans. They made it their mission to spread the word of the many positive contributions that blacks made to the building of America and the world.

The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) was organized in Chicago, Illinois, on September 15, 1915. The next month, on October 9, the association was incorporated in Washington, D.C., and it has operated there ever since. In 1972 the name was changed to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, or ASALH. In 2007, the association had thousands of members and operated fifty-three branches in twenty-one states, as well as an additional branch in Nigeria, West Africa.

The ASALH collects historical and sociological materials and data about African Americans, as well as about black people throughout the world. This research material is used to publish pamphlets, monographs, and books on the African diaspora throughout history. The association has sought to “promote the study of Negroes through churches, clubs, schools, colleges, and fraternal organizations, and to bring about harmony between the races by interpreting the one to the other” (ASALH).

In January 1916 the organization published the first issue of its quarterly, The Journal of Negro History . The Journal has long been considered one of the best historical publications in the world. It is an influential outlet for pioneering works of African-American history and a major proponent for the development of the field of African-American studies.

The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and the Journal of Negro History were the brain-children of Carter Godwin Woodson, who was born on December 19, 1875 and died on April 3, 1950. During his lifetime he became known as the “father of the black history movement,” and he was the founder of Negro History Week (later expanded to Black History Month). Woodson devoted his life to documenting the accomplishments of Africans and African-Americans and getting black history accepted as a serious field of scholarship. In addition to being a prolific writer, he was a tireless researcher, an obsessive collector, a gifted orator, and a very accomplished educator.

For more than thirty-five years, Woodson waged an unrelenting, multifront war against intellectual racism in America. He battled antiblack American social thought and misguided educational polices and programs in many segregated black schools and colleges. Through his establishment of the ASNLH, Woodson popularized black history among the black masses. He almost single-handedly opened the long suppressed and neglected field of black history to students, writers, scholars, and researchers seeking the truth about the black presence in the world.


The son of James Henry Woodson and Anne Eliza (Riddle), both former slaves, Carter Woodson was born in New Canton, Buckingham County, Virginia. He was the oldest of nine children. Woodson and his family experienced extreme poverty compounded by the trauma of widespread racism in one of the poorest counties in Virginia. However, Woodson belonged to a close-knit family in which the chores of farming were shared, and his parents related many stories about slavery.

The late 1800s were a very difficult period for African Americans. It was the end of the Reconstruction period, and federal troops had been withdrawn from the South, leaving the recently freed slaves to survive on their own, unprotected from the wrath of their former masters. Many white Southerners blamed blacks for the Civil War, and many sought them out for revenge. Black public officials were frequently murdered, run out of town, or removed from their positions through violent means, and Jim Crow laws were being instituted throughout the South. The white-hooded members of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as similar vigilante groups, were riding in the night spreading terror and committing countless murders. Lynchings were a part of everyday life in the South. In some towns, lynching “holidays” were held so that whites could picnic and watch a black person being beaten, hanged, mutilated or burned, and finally killed.

Many African Americans began to leave the South during this period. As news of these horrific events reached Woodson’s family, they were deeply saddened and more than a little nervous about their well-being. Woodson’s father had escaped from slavery and joined the Union Army during the Civil War. He settled in Buckingham County in 1872, and Carter Godwin Woodson was born three years later.

At an early age, Woodson developed a deep hunger for learning. Jacqueline Goggins, a Woodson biographer, wrote of him, “Even as a small boy, Carter G. Woodson was passionate about history. When he founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, it seemed as if he was destined to do so and it became his life work” (Papers of Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, 1915–1950, University Publications of America, Introduction by Goggin, 1999).As the world would learn, Woodson possessed a rare combination of genius and intellect coupled with unstoppable determination and almost boundless energy.

The young Woodson was not able to attend the local district school during the customary five-month period because he was needed to work on the small farm of his parents. Woodson’s father was a carpenter and a farmer who was unable to read or write. His mother and an uncle had somehow learned to read and write however, and taught him the rudiments of reading. He attended a one-room grammar school that was open only four months per year, but he was largely self-taught until he entered high school at the age of twenty. Like other literate blacks of the era, Woodson was often paid to read to groups of illiterate men and women in his spare time, a situation that enlightened both him and his listeners.

In 1892, Woodson left Buckingham County and joined his brother Robert Henry in Huntington, West Virginia. At first he worked on the railroad laying railroad ties, and later he worked in the dangerous mines of the Fayette County coalfields. Woodson became the black community “reader” for many illiterate coal miners, including one Oliver Jones, who despite his inability to read had built up a surprisingly good collection of black historical works. Using Jones’s books, Woodson became the literate attraction of the area.


In 1895 Carter G. Woodson entered Douglass High School in Huntington, West Virginia. He earned his diploma in less than two years. In the fall of 1897 and the winter of 1898, Woodson attended Berea College in Kentucky, one of the few white schools of that day that had a liberal policy of opening its doors to black students.

Woodson taught in Winona in Fayette County, West Virginia, from 1898 to 1900. Just four years after his graduation from Douglass High School, young Woodson returned to the school first as a teacher then as its principal and remained there from 1900-1903. After several interruptions he received his degree of Bachelor of Literature from Berea College in 1903.

Woodson took a position as supervisor of schools in the Philippines until 1907. He completed correspondence courses in Spanish and French at the University of Chicago while overseas, and in 1907 he traveled to Europe and Asia and took classes at the Sorbonne in Paris, where he learned to speak French. In 1908 he went to the University of Chicago, where he simultaneously took undergraduate and graduate classes. In March 1908 he received his second bachelor of arts degree and in August received his master’s degree. Late in 1908, he began work on his doctorate in history from Harvard University.

In 1909 Woodson returned to Washington D.C. to make full use of the Library of Congress. He continued work on his doctoral thesis while teaching French, English, and History at the fabled M Street (Paul Laurence Dunbar) High School. Later he became principal at the nearby Armstrong Manual Training High School, while still managing to do research on his thesis. While Wood-son worked on getting his degree, Edward Channing, one of his Harvard professors, argued that Negroes had no history. Channing later challenged Woodson to undertake research to prove that Negroes had a history. He discovered that Albert Bushnell Hart, another of his professors, believed blacks to be an inferior race.

Woodson satisfied his dissertation committee in 1912 and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He was the second African American to receive this degree from Harvard; William Edward Burghardt (W. E. B.) DuBois, the only son of freeborn parents, had been awarded the same degree from the same department in 1895.

Sometime in 1913 or 1914, Woodson became a member of the American Negro Academy, a scholarly organization founded in 1897 by Alexander Crummell, an erudite black Episcopalian minister. Modeled on the Académe Français and limited to forty members, the academy had the following objectives: to defend African Americans against vicious racist attacks, to publish scholarly works on racial issues, and to encourage higher education and an appreciation for literature, science, and art within the black community. It was the first organization to bring together black scholars and artists from all over the world, and it had a strong influence on Woodson.


In 1926 Woodson and the association began the celebration of Negro History Week, which was to be used to shed light on and celebrate the contributions blacks had made to America. Woodson stated “What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, hate and religious prejudice. There should be no indulgence in undue eulogy of the Negro. The case of the Negro is well taken care of when it shown how he has influenced the development of civilization” (Woodson 1940). The month of February was selected for Negro History Week in honor of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In explaining the need for Negro History Week, Woodson said:

The fact is that so-called history teaching in our schools and colleges is downright propaganda, an effort to praise one race and to decry the other to justify social repression and exploitation. The world is still in darkness as to the actual progress of mankind. Each corner of the universe has tended to concern itself merely with the exploits of its own particular heroes. Students and teachers of our time, therefore, are the victims of this selfish propaganda. (Woodson 1940)


From the outset, Woodson had trouble raising substantial funds from white foundations and philanthropic organizations. In 1916 he received his first donations from white foundations; a commitment of an annual $200 donation from the Phelps-Stokes Fund, a pledge of $800 a year from the Julius Rosenwald Foundation, and other small donations.

Beginning in 1916 Woodson submitted proposals to the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, and others. His proposals were rejected for many years, however. Finally, in 1922 the Carnegie Institute awarded Woodson his first grant in the amount of $25,000. The money from this grant was to be spread over a five-year period, and it was used to secure additional funding from the Laura Spelman Memorial Fund. With these funding commitments in place, he was able to retire from teaching and devote all of his time to the association and his research and writing. Until this time, Woodson’s main challenge was finding enough money to support himself, the association, and the Journal . He often told people that he was married to the association, and that that was the reason he never married. Beginning in 1922, the ASNLH was finally able to pay Woodson a salary of $3,000 a year.

In 1922, however, Woodson clashed with the transplanted Welshman Thomas Jesse Jones, the educational director of the Phelps-Stokes Funds, over educational policy, and the association lost most of its foundation support. Woodson supported liberal education, while Jones favored low-level vocational education, which he felt better suited the “realities” of black life. By the height of the Great Depression in the 1930s, Jones had succeeded in blocking almost all support for the ASNLH from other white philanthropic organizations and foundations. Despite this loss, as well as pressure to make the association a unit of an existing college, Woodson remained defiantly independent, relying on African Americans for the bulk of the group’s revenue.


In addition to Woodson’s tireless efforts on behalf of the organization, the ASALH has been led by some of the most brilliant and influential scholars that the United States has ever produced. The directors of the association have played a large role in making black history a part of the fabric of American life. Presidents of the ASNLH have come from the fields of education, sociology, black studies, and history and more. Among those who have served as president were John Hope, a Morehouse College president; Mary McLeod Bethune, founder/president of Bethune Cookman College; Andrew Brimmer, an economist and member of the Federal Reserve Board; Lorenzo Greene, professor at Lincoln University; and historians Edgar Toppin, Earl E. Thorpe, and William Harris.

After Woodson’s death, Rayford Logan, who was chairman of the History Department at Howard University, became executive director of the association for a year. While the association searched for an executive director to replace Woodson, Charles Wesley filled the positions of president and executive director. Wesley ended up working for the association until 1964, when he left to become president of Central State College in Ohio.

Wesley was a historian, minister, and educator. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, he received his master’s degree in art from Yale University. He then attended Harvard University, where, in 1925, he received the third doctorate degree ever awarded to an African American. He served on the faculty of Howard University from 1913 to 1942. Wesley first joined the ASNLH in 1916, and he served as president from 1950 to 1965. In 1965 Wesley returned to Washington, D.C., and he was again elected executive director, a position he held until 1972. Later Wesley became president of Wilberforce University in Ohio, one of the oldest historically black colleges or universities in the United States. He served as the first director of the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Philadelphia in 1976.

For more than twenty years Wesley also served as a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church. For several years he served as president of Alpha Phi Alpha, a black fraternity about which he wrote a book. He wrote several other books including: Collapse of the Confederacy (1937); Negro Labor in the United States, 1850–1925 (1967); and The History of the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs: A Legacy of Service (1984). Charles Wesley died in 1987.


By 1970 the word Negro had become offensive to many people. In keeping with the changing times, in 1972 the association changed its name to the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History. The name was then changed to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. The association expanded Negro History Week to Black History Month in 1976. That same year Woodson’s home was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2003, after years of effort, the U.S. Congress authorized the National Park Service to acquire the house and operate it as a museum, an office for the association, and as a National Historic Site. Renovation on the house began in 2004. During the renovation the association’s headquarters was temporarily moved to Howard University.

A library in Chicago was named in honor of Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1975. In 2003 a ceremony was held for the installation of a historical marker in his honor in West Virginia. In 2004 the state of Virginia’s Archives and History Department honored Woodson with a historical marker near his birthplace. Also in 2004, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, finally opened to the public the collection of papers, books, and other materials that Woodson and the association had donated to the university’s library. Lorenzo Johnson Green, a former president of the association, once said, “The Association is indelibly stamped upon me. It is my cause and shall transcend everything else, even my allegiance to Woodson” (1989, p. 424).

In the first decade of the new millennium the ASALH is a membership organization that has more than twenty branches in many U.S. cities and college campuses. Every year its members choose a new African-American history theme on which to focus for the year. In 2007, for instance, the focus was from slavery to freedom. The association hosts an annual conference—a tradition that began in 1915—where researchers, historians, and scholars present the newest research on African-American history and related topics. Throughout the year they offer teacher training, book signings by new and noted authors and scholars, student activities, and cultural and historical programs. Their annual awards luncheon honors historians, scholars and researchers who have made significant contributions to African-American history. In 2000 the association part-nered with the Library of Congress to create an oral history project to collect the stories of U.S. veterans. The Black History Bulletin , a publication targeted to primary and secondary teachers, continues to be published semi-annually.

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almost 6 years ago


To acquire national identity must know our history, we know the official story but not the real story, which begins to rewrite. The November 4, 1780 began the revolution of Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui Noguera TUPAC AMARU with the arrest and subsequent execution of bloodthirsty corregidor Antonio de Arriaga, who cracked the foundations of the Spanish empire in America and paved the way for the independence of Latin America.
In our country, Peru, Jose Gabriel Cordorcanqui Tupac Amaru spawned the French Revolution to decree the abolition of slavery in November 16, 1780 at the Shrine of Tungasuca; in North American by Abraham Lincoln in 1863 and in Peru by Ramón Castilla in 1854, 83 years and 74 years respectively after Tupac Amaru abolished. For historical right and justice should be Tupac Amaru paternity of the abolition of slavery in the world, Peru and the French Revolution. In this decision, to abolish slavery is synthesized equality, fraternity and liberty of the French Revolution, the same way provided the stimulus and inspiration for writing the works of Juan Pablo Vizcardo and Guzman, Pablo de Olavide, as likewise inspired to St. Martin for the release of Argentina, Chile and Peru and is the first precursor of Latin American emancipation. Contemporary personalities compare him to Cromwell, Robespierre and George Washington. It was clever and educated person, doctor of canon law, theology and civil, with political culture, polyglot: dominated the Castilian, Latin, Quechua. Aymara and other dialects. Their culture is seen in the office that sends Areche on March 5, 1781 in a paragraph he writes: "A humble rustic shepherd boy with the stick, the deep and divine providence delivered the unhappy people of Israel, of the power of Goliath and Pharaoh, the reason was the tears of these poor captives give such voices of compassion, for justice to heaven, after hundreds of years out of his martyrdom and agony for the Promised Land, but woe at last met their desires, but with so much suffering and sorrow .. More us unhappy Indians, with sighs and tears over them, so many centuries we could not get some relief, is the reason why the Pharaoh that haunts us, abused and harassed not one only, but many, as wicked and depraved hearts as are the magistrates, his lieutenants, collectors and other brackets. diabolical and wicked men, I presume that infernal chaos born of grim and were based on the most ungrateful harpies breasts, by be as wicked, cruel tyrants and Attilas the Neros, of whom history regards their iniquities and hear only the bodies tremble and cry their hearts. "
He traveled on a white horse and his entourage are in the chaplain and peoples was received. by priests coated chorus, tails high and canopy .. The preparation of the rebellion lasted about 10 years, mobilized over 100, 000 soldiers in an area of more than 1,500 kilometers, were mobilizing people with passports or laissez-passer issued by his lieutenant and wife Micaela Bastidas and his family nickname was CHEPE. The answer to Areche, their relentless tormentor: "You by oppressive and I avoid it, deserve the death" sums up his personality. Antonio de Areche did justice to inform the Minister of the Indies April 30, 1781: "It is a very strong spirit and nature and serenity imponderable". Answer his executioners: "Do not tell anyone the truth, but you bring forth meat apart" He performed his word.
The objectives of the revolution of Tupac Amaru was not intended to annex territories but was eminently social and economic: abolish slavery, mita, distributions, mills disappearance of the magistrates, in short, anti-colonial, anti-slavery and anti-feudalism, only in the world. In the place where Tupac Amaru signed the abolition of slavery should rise an altar antislavery, corrected the historical omission and justice to recognize who he was the first to abolish slavery in the world and in Peru, consider you first precursor of America independence and father of the French Revolution. later that never come true.
The goals of this movement remain valid, will end when we have a government that works for the development of Peruvians and not any child sleep without eating any bread: in the day: there is justice. The glory of José Gabriel will continue to grow as it grows in the shade when the sun sets.
1. Lewin B. The Rebellion of Tupac Amaru, 1957
2. Valcárcel CD. Tupac Amaru, 1970
3. R. Hernandez Precursor and Tupac Amaru rebel, 1969
4. J. Bonilla Tupac Amaru Revolution, 1971
5. Valcárcel CD. The revolution of Túpac Amaru, 1973
6. Sivirichi A. The social revolution of Tupac Amaru, 1979
7 JJ Vega. Jose Gabriel Tupac Amaru, 1969
Dr. Godofredo Arauzo Email: godo_ara@hotmail.com