Prior to the Journal of Negro History there was no body of work that captured the work of black people around the world. The first person to actually value and chronicle the contributions of black people was Dr Woodson Godwin Carter. He was born on December 19, 1875 in New Canton Virginia. His family moved to West Virginia after word got round that there was a school in West Virginia that educated black people. His parents were former slaves and so this was an opportunity of a lifetime. He was educated at Berea College bachelors, University of Chicago- Masters and Harvard University-PhD in History.
Dr Carter Godwin Woodson was influential to Kwame Nkrumah the father African liberation who was influential to Patrice Lumumba, Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere, Robert Mugabe and Nelson Mandela. Dr Woodson gave voice to the black people of his day whose voice was largely ignored or mischaracterized. He made people see that black people had made meaningful contributions to their society and needed to be recognized for such achievements and celebrated. He started Negro history week to highlight the achievements of Black people who were called Negroes then. The week has now blossomed into Black history Month in February in the U.S. and in October in the U.K.