[N.p., probably Charlestown, WV: 1931]. Handbill, 9.25 x 5.25 inches. Noticeable staining and toning, old folds, minor edge wear. Good. Item #4592
An early and seemingly unique handbill advertising the activities of "Negro Advancement Week" in Charles Town, West Virginia in 1931. The event called for sermons, discussions, lectures, a parade, a "Fraternal Night" speech, and more during the week of September 20 to 27. The entertainment included a "Beautiful Carnival" that ran the whole week, plus a shooting gallery, fishing pond, a drawing stand, a wheel of fortune, and more. The speakers included clergymen, professors, and doctors from West Virginia, as well as from Baltimore and Frederick, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The titles of some of the talks are instructive: "The Negro Religious Life," "The Negroes Economic Life," and "Race Relations."
Negro Advancement Week appears to have been started by Carter Woodson's own fraternity, Omega Psi Phi two years before Woodson started Negro History Week. In 1924, Omega Psi Phi initiated Negro History and Literature Week (later renamed Negro Achievement Week or Negro Advancement Week) in order to celebrate and distribute works by notable African-American authors. Woodson wanted to create a larger platform for celebrating Black History, so he started Black History Week in 1926, in concert with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. This later effort eventually evolved into Black History Month. Still, Negro Advancement Week remains an important early attempt to celebrate African-American history and culture, with some connection to Carter Woodson, in the first half of the 20th century. We could locate no holdings of any material relating to Negro Advancement Week in OCLC.