The Journal of African American History
|Edited by||Pero G. Dagbovie|
|The Journal of Negro History|
University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (United States)
|ISO 4||J. Afr. Am. Hist.|
The Journal of African American History, formerly The Journal of Negro History (1916–2001), is a quarterly academic journal covering African-American life and history. It was founded in 1916 by Carter G. Woodson. The journal is owned and overseen by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and was established in 1916 by Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland. The journal publishes original scholarly articles on all aspects of the African-American experience. The journal annually publishes more than sixty (60) reviews of recently published books in the fields of African and African-American life and history. As of 2018, the Journal is published by the University of Chicago Press on behalf of the ASALH.
The Journal of African American History (formally the Journal of Negro History) was one of the first scholarly texts or journals to cover African-American history. It was founded in January 1916 by Carter G. Woodson, an African-American historian and journalist. The journal was and is a publication of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, an organization founded by Woodson. The journal was the dominant source to learn about African American history at the time of its conception, because there were no other such texts. The journal gave black scholars the chance to publish articles examining African-American history and culture while also documenting the current black experience in the United States. While the journal mainly published the work of black authors and encouraged their academic success, it was also an outlet for white scholars who had different views than their counterparts. Woodson's efforts to cover African-American history at a time where it was unacknowledged has led him to receive the nickname "Father of African American History."
Carter G. Woodson
Carter G. Woodson (1875–1950) was a professor and historian at Howard University. He was among the first black scholars, such as other notable figures like W. E. B. Du Bois, to receive a doctoral degree. So, naturally was a pioneer in the field of black history and African American studies. After getting his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University, he joined the faculty at Howard University. During his time of the study, there was really no such thing as black history. Woodson was one of the first black scholars to identify this need and do something about it. On the creation of The Journal of Negro History, Carol Adams, the CEO of the Chicago Museum of African American History, commented: "He didn’t just see a need, he moved to fill the need,” Adams says. “It wasn’t easy to get your work published if you were an African-American scholar, for example, so he started a journal and then a press."
Woodson and the Journal's impact on Black History Month
In 1915, Woodson co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). This organization's name was changed to, much like the Journal of Negro History’s rechristening to the Journal of African American history, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (also abbreviated as ASALH). This non-profit organization, founded in Chicago and based in Washington, D.C. This organization, along with Woodson, was responsible for the creation of African American History week in 1926, choosing the week that coincided with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln to bring attention to the importance of black history. African American history week built upon the work of the Journal of Negro History, as is celebrated the need to examine the history and celebrate African-American culture. The journal is published by the (ASALH) Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Woodson's work establishing the Journal of Negro History and African American History week were the early roots of what we now know as Black History Month. Black History Month is every year in February, still covering the week of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays that was originally chosen by Woodson.
Since its conception in 1926, the Journal of African American History has featured and published the work of several notable scholars over the years. These include famous names such as Benjamin Quarles, John Hope Franklin, and W. E. B. Du Bois. To name a few other couple of notable figures who were on record as adding to the history of African Americans, Jesse Moorland is the first to come to mind. Moorland on record was a key contributor along with Woodson himself for beginning black history month. Moorland contributed to what is now known as one of the world's largest libraries on African-American history through considerable donations of personal novels and manuscripts along with activist Arthur Spingarn. Both of whom are remembered through the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University. To add to the list of notable figures, Joe R. Feagin comes to mind. Joe is currently the president of the American Sociological Association, he completed research on issues with racism in society who contributed as well to the history of African Americans originally started by Carter Woodson, the father of African-American history.
The Journal and women of color
The Journal of African American History played a vital role for women of color in the 1900s. Before it was commonplace for women to be openly welcomed in the world of academia, the Journal of African American History (still known then as The Journal of Negro History) provided women of color with an outlet to publish their work without the ridicule of others. The first black female historians paved their way using the Journal of Negro History. Female authors contributed nine percent of the articles published in the Journal of Negro History, compared to an average of only three percent in other notable journals of the time, such as Mississippi Valley Historical Review or the Journal of Southern History. The Journal of Negro History was therefore quite revolutionary in its time by allowing more female authors to contribute to the journal. One of the most notable examples includes Marion Thompson Wright, the African-American woman to receive a doctoral degree in history. She published her own work on blacks in New Jersey in the Journal of Negro History. 
The Journal's publishing institutions
The Journal of African American History is owned by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. In 2018, the editor V. P. Franklin, who began working for his alma mater, Harvard University along with Harvard's Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, a well-known historian in African-American studies decided to sign a deal with the University of Chicago Press to have it publish the journal on behalf of the ASLAH.
Pero. G. Dagbovie is an acclaimed history professor at Michigan State University focused primarily on black history, black women's history, and Black Power. He is also a well known author of countless books including African American History Reconsidered and the biography of Carter G. Woodson, the founder of The Journal of African American History. Because of Dagbovie's work and his unique background on African-American history, he has been appointed as the next editor of the Journal, replacing V.P Franklin.
As mentioned above, The Journal of African American History was essential for starting the effort to document and fill the need for the study of black history. However, it also gave black scholars opportunities to challenge the status quo, fight stereotypes, and attempt to create a more favorable perception of African Americans. It also gave people of color the chance to publish their works and be recognized in the academic field. It really encouraged and fostered the academic success of black Americans, especially black historians.
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