Ninety-nine years ago, a former sharecropper who had made his way through the University of Chicago and a doctorate at Harvard grew so fed up with how the nation’s historians were ignoring Black Americans that he launched Negro History Week. To everyone’s surprise. Dr. Carter Woodson’s bold move — sparked by frustration — generated an entirely new direction, both in research and celebration.
Fifty years later, President Gerald Ford expanded the week to National Black History Month, urging Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
On this special Shabbat, we do just that, recognizing the challenges faced by Black Americans while celebrating their contributions to our national story. Our special guest will be Isabel Wilkerson, the first African American woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Caste, winner of the National Book Award for The Warmth of Other Suns and former Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times.