This Day in History

Sept. 9, 1915: The Association for the Study of African American Life and History

Time Periods: World War I: 1910 - 1919
Themes: African American, Democracy & Citizenship, Education, Racism & Racial Identity
Carter G. Woodson | Zinn Education Project

Carter G. Woodson, ca 1940s, Scurlock Photographic Studio Records, National Museum of American History Archives. Source: Encyclopedia Virginia.

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) was founded in Chicago, Illinois on Sept. 9, 1915 by Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.

ASALH founded “Negro History Week” in 1926, which was the same week as Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. In 1976, ASALH transformed “Negro History Week” into Black History Month for the entire month of February. Carter G. Woodson was the son of people who had been enslaved and since his death has been referred to as the Father of Black History.

Dr. Woodson’s home in Washington, D.C. is an historic site of the National Park Service. It also serves as the headquarters for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Woodson’s home is open for visitors and guided tours.