National Park Service Plans to Repair Carter G. Woodson House

showPublicImage - carter g woodson houseBy Michael E. Ruane,April 30, 2013

The front door of the old rowhouse on Ninth Street NW needs a shove to get it free, and it creaks as Joy G. Kinard slowly pushes it open.

Except for its ghosts, it’s empty inside.

But as Kinard, of the National Park Service, enters, the story of Carter G. Woodson’s long-dilapidated home emerges — along with plans for its rebirth as a center for black scholarship.  Here, from 1922, when he bought the house for $8,000, through 1950, when he died in bed in his third-floor bedroom, this modest three-story brick building was the capital of African American history studies.

Here, in this 140-year-old dwelling in Washington’s Shaw neighborhood, Woodson, the solitary Harvard-educated son of former slaves, gave birth to black history amid some of the worst days of segregation in America.

In this house, he built his Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, the Journal of Negro History and what has now become Black History Month. He also wrote books and essays, and he ran a publishing business out of the basement.

He was, he said, determined to construct the history of African Americans that was left out of the nation’s textbooks.

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