Film About the Father of Black History To Screen at Ralph Ellison Library


Dr. Carter G. Woodson is known as “the Father of Black History,” and a documentary film featuring the reminiscences of historian Dr. John Hope Franklin will screen at Ralph Ellison Library, 2000 NE 23rd
(424-1437) on Thursday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Woodson, who was born in 1875, the son of former slaves, grew up to believe that the history of his people was being ignored or misrepresented in mainstream American education.  In 1916, he founded “The Journal of Negro History,” an academic journal which changed its name to “The Journal of African American History” in 2001. A staunch defender of black dignity, Woodson wrote that “if you can make a man believe that he is justly an outcast, you don’t have to order him to the back door, he will go to the back door on his own and if there is no back door, the very nature of the man will demand that you build one.”

In the film, Dr. John Hope Franklin, who was born in Rentiesville, OK, in 1915, speaks highly of Woodson’s achievement and leadership. Franklin, who died in 2009, wrote that his challenge, like Woodson’s "was to weave into the fabric of American history enough of the presence of blacks so that the story of the United States could be told adequately and fairly."

The screening of the documentary is free and open to the public.

For more information about this or any Metropolitan Library System program, visit the MLS website,

The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 14 libraries and five extension libraries. Libraries include Almonte, Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Patience S. Latting Northwest, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres. Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City. You can also reach us at