When you think of ‘Black History Month, Berea College – a small, Liberal Arts school in Berea, KY – probably isn’t one of the first things or places that you think of (me included). However, there is some pretty important history that came from this school.
Carter Godwin Woodson. Woodson (1875 – 1950) graduated from Berea College in 1903; he graduated from Harvard in 1912 with a PhD in History, only the 2nd African-American to to earn a doctorate. A noted Black historian, author, and journalist, Carter Woodson launched the celebration of “Negro History Week” in 1926 (later becoming Black History Month).
John Gregg Fee (1816 – 1901) was known as the founder of both the town of Berea and Berea College (in 1855). Even bigger, Berea College became the first interracial AND coed school in the U.S. South. After reopening in 1869, Berea College continued as the only integrated college in the South until 1904, when Kentucky passed the Day Law, effectively outlawing any integrated education in the state.
Some more info on Woodson, Fee, and Berea College: