Founder of ASALH

Dr. Carter G. Woodson

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History/ASALH, was founded on September 9, 1915 in Chicago, Illinois by historian, Dr. Carter Goodwin Woodson and five others in Chicago, Illinois. This non-profit, tax exempt, professional organization was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on October 3, 1915. As the oldest organization dedicated to the study and promotion of Black history, ASALH itself is a part of African American history. It embodies the determination of African Americans to ensure that their story and their contribution would not be treated, as Dr. Woodson often said as “a negligible factor” in American and world history. He also said: “To explore the history of ASALH is to glimpse a people’s strivings and their institution building. …To bring that history to life in one’s imagination is to walk with giants.” Dr. Woodson, known as the Father of Black History Month, was the author of several books including his classic, The Miseducation of the Negro first published in 1933.

The branch structure of ASALH reflects Carter G. Woodson’s belief that our mission of creating and disseminating knowledge about Black history could not be realized by academics alone. He envisioned the branches as a means of extending ASALH’s reach across the country and beyond to gather primary materials about Black history and to promote the finished results to the public through events and organizational activities. Manasota ASALH is one of twenty-seven branches of ASALH nationwide.