If you're one of the millions of people who use Google everyday, you've probably noticed the ever-changing "Google Doodle." Today, at the beginning of Black History Month, Google has decided to celebrate the "father of black history" Carter G. Woodson. The illustration was done by Virginia-based illustrator Shannon Wright, and has led many curious minds to wonder - who exactly was Carter G. Woodson?

The African-American academic was born in New Canton, Virginia, following the American Civil War. His parents, freed slaves James and Eliza Riddle Woodson, went on to send him to a new high school for black students in the hopes he could pursue a higher education. Carter went on to learn English, math, and science, becoming adept in those fields by the age of seventeen. Unfortunately, his academic process was halted when he had no choice but to begin work in the coal mines of Fayette County. 

In 1895, when Carter was twenty years old, his academic pursuits resumed, and he received his high school diploma in two years. He went on to pursue a career in teaching, and was eventually promoted to principal; eventually, Carter relocated to the Philippines to serve as a school supervisor. The man continued to dominate in the academic field, earning himself a Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College, Kentucky, an honours from the University of Chicago and a history PhD at Harvard. He became the second African American to win a doctorate, after W.E.B. DuBois.

During his stint as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Washington's Howard University, Carter and a colleague named Alexander L. Jackson wrote his first book The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861, in order to shine a light on a subject oft-misrepresented in white academia. Howard's accomplishments didn't end there, and you can read more about this impressive man's story right here, via The Independent.