WNYK 88.7 FM, Nyack’s campus radio station, has kicked off Black History Month by highlighting Madame C J Walker, entrepreneur, philanthropist, political and social activist and Dr. Charles Drew, surgeon and medical researcher known for developing techniques for blood storage and the creation of blood banks. Throughout the month of February, other notable African American men and women who have made groundbreaking contributions to American history will be showcased.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History established a precursor to Black History Month in 1926. It was first known as “Negro History Week” and was celebrated in the U.S. annually the second week of February. Dr. Woodson, a University of Chicago and Harvard University-educated scholar, is said to have chosen that week because it fell during the week of the birthdates of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and African American abolitionist, author and orator Frederick Douglass.
The Carter G. Woodson African American Museum located in St. Petersburg, Florida, carries on the legacy of Dr. Woodson, who died in 1950. The mission of the museum is to “preserve, present, and interpret African American history and to engage a broad and diverse audience.”
Nearly four years ago, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), a Smithsonian Institution, opened in Washington, D.C. This national museum established by an Act of Congress in 2003 documents African American life, history, and culture.