This week we observe the Dec. 19 birth date of Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950), known as “the Father of American Black History." He was the second African American to earn a doctorate degree from Harvard University (after Dr. W.E.B. DuBois), and the founder in 1915 of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), which 107 year later, is still going strong as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History ASNLH, with members and branches throughout the nation and beyond.

Woodson would also launch such other iconic traditions as Negro History Week, which would expand to become Black History Month. He created the venerable quarterly Journal of African American History, among other publications, most famously his classic study of “The Mis-Education of the Negro,” first published in 1933.

In honor of these and the many more achievements in Dr. Woodson’s remarkable life, and his groundbreaking teachings and writings in support of the spread of knowledge, all ASALH Branches annually observe his Dec. 19 birth date with remembrance programs open to the public.

The South Florida (SoFlo) Branch is no exception, and will hold its official celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 27 (the second day of Kwanzaa, affirming the Principle of Kujichagulia, or Self-Determination), at Fort Lauderdale’s African American Research Library and Cultural Center, with a stimulating discussion of “The Mis-Education…” and is relevance today in this 90th anniversary year of its publication.

However, we might also take advantage of the more immediate opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate one of his much lesser known, but certainly no less important writings, which is his insightful elucidation of the vital social and economic impact of those legendary African American women whom history records as "laundresses," or, more commonly “washerwomen.”

It should be noted that here in Miami, Fla., where the local community succeeded in saving Historic Virginia Key Beach Park, the onetime “Colored Beach” of the segregation era, from development, so that the entire restored recreational site can be made into an outdoor/indoor historical/environmental museum experience, with a newly constructed building as an enhancement, the story of Miami’s own “washerwomen” has been considered from the outset as one of those with the highest priority for being told fully and accurately, welcoming knowledge from any and all who can add to this goal.