African American History Program of the National Academies
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George Washington Carver

Pictured: GW Carver

The Mission and History of
The African American History Program

Carter Godwin Woodson, (December 19, 1875 - April 3, 1950) an African American historian, author, journalist, and the founder of what eventually became known as African American History Month, is considered the first person to conduct a scholarly effort to popularize the value of Black History.  In 1926, Woodson wrote, "What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race, hate, and religious prejudice."

The African American History Program (AAHP) was established in 1986 with the goal to heighten awareness of the contributions of outstanding African Americans to science, engineering, medicine, and to the nation’s welfare.  In keeping with the objectives of Carter G. Woodson, the events organized by AAHP as well as its collection of online biographies of African Americans are tools for promoting the understanding of science, engineering, and medicine.

The AAHP is sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.  Institutional partners of the AAHP include Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) and the Koshland Science Museum.

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