Students travel back in time to ‘speak’ to Dr. Carter G. Woodson


Ryan Fischer

The Marshall community heard from speakers in the Drinko Library Atrium about Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s “The Mis-Education of the Negro” Thursday.

Students traveled back in time to “talk” to Dr. Carter G. Woodson about his book, “The Mis-Education of the Negro,” Thursday.

The book, written in 1933, is very relatable to today’s events and had played a role in many peoples’ lives. Four students came together at Drinko Library’s Atrium on Thursday afternoon to discuss those similarities.

Octavia Maughn-Wilson, Ayanna Wynn, Tianna Venable and Adanne Gibbs started the discussion by explaining the lack of Black History Month education and the racial biases in the school systems.

“By reading this, if we don’t understand where we come from and how much of an important role that our heritage has played in society, we won’t ever want to be greater,” Maughn-Wilson said. “I have been able to see that through high school. How a lot of kids weren’t striving to be greater, because we didn’t know that we could be greater.”

Woodson is credited to be the founder of Black History Week, which changed to Black History Month in 1976. David Harris, who portrayed Woodson in Thursday’s event, is a part of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Foundation.

“The Mis-Education of the Negro” is a book compiled of essays and speeches from Woodson. For the past three years, Harris has acted as Woodson to bring more awareness of the Father of Black History Month.

Wynn said the book made her realize nothing can be handed to you.

“We have to do for ourselves. We have to push for us. It can’t be handed to us,” Wynn said. “Now is the time to come together to use all of our resources and everything to have a better life as an entire race.”

In the book, Woodson said “If you distort a peoples’ history, you distort a peoples’ future.”  The panel urged the students to read the book and to educate themselves on the past.

“If you don’t have knowledge, then you don’t have anything,” Maughn-Wilson said.

Sadie Helmick may be contacted at [email protected].