In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, that great historian whose life and work the nation celebrated during the 1990 Black History Month Celebration, did a great thing in establishing Negro History week, to bring to the forefront of the nation's conscience the contributions made by African-Americans to the building of this nation.
In 1979, fifty-three years later, the organization founded by Dr. Woodson, renamed the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, expanded that celebration to include the entire month of February (the month in which Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were born), declaring that the accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans were too significant to be confined to a one-week celebration.
In September of 1989, over fifty years after Woodson's pioneering effort and a decade after the establishment of National African-American History Month, Morgan State University-in an initiative as bold and as visionary as that of its two antecedents-declared that the history and culture of African-Americans should not be confined to a one-week or a one-month celebration. Instead, this rich history and vibrant heritage should be treated with reverence and respect each and every day of the year.
So Morgan State University established, at the beginning of the 1989-90 academic year, a year-long celebration of African-American History and Culture to be marked by monthly convocations at which the Morgan Community reminds itself of the achievements of its past and the imperative for even greater triumphs in its future and at which it honors the great contributors to African-American history and culture. The year-long convocation calendar consists of:
- the Matriculation Convocation (September)
- the Performing Arts Convocation (October)
- the Founders Day Convocation (November)
- the Bills of Rights Convocation/TransAfrica Day (December)
- the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.--Malcolm X Convocation (February)
- the Mitchell-Quarles African-American History Month Convocation (February)
- the Frederick Douglass Memorial Convocation (February)
- the Rosalyn Terborg-Penn Women's History Month Convocation (March)
- the Honors Convocation (April)
Morgan's trail-blazing initiative in establishing this year-round celebration comes at a propitious moment in the University's history-at a time when the student body, with the fervor and the enthusiasm of the students of the sixties and the seventies, reaching out for self-knowledge and self-identity, has urged the University to teach it more about itself. The University has responded admirably, not only by expanding the observance of African-American History Month, but also by including a course in African Diaspora History as a General Education requirement for all Morgan Students.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson would be proud of this development, and so are we!