The Carter G. Woodson Lyceum

Winner and 2023 Official Black History Month Poster of The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum


Click Here for the 2023 Official Black History Month Poster

2023 Merit Award – Marshall University


Click Here for the 2023 Marshall University Merit Award Poster

Marshall’s Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum to kick off Black History Month,  announce student winners of poster contest

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum at Marshall University will kick off Black History Month 2023 Tuesday, Jan. 31, by unveiling the 2023 Official Black History Poster and honoring the K-12 student winners of the Black History Poster Competition and their teachers. This year’s theme is “Black Contributions in American Life and History.”

The kickoff event will be at 4 p.m. Jan. 31 in Marshall University’s Visual Arts Center, 927 3rd Ave. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Leonard White, physician and associate dean for diversity at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. 

The Carter G. Woodson Lyceum has been helping educators integrate Black history into school curricula since 2016 and serves as a forum that provides opportunities to address this and other education issues. Woodson was a Huntington educator and West Virginia coal miner who is recognized as the Father of Black History.  The lyceum is a resource for the region on the observance of Black history and Woodson’s teachings about improving education.

The Black History Month schedule of events for February will also be shared during the event. The schedule includes musical performances; panel discussions on topics related to Marshall Athletics, hip hop in Appalachia and more; and lectures and presentations, including the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lecture, to be presented Feb. 15 by Dr. Ericke S. Cage, president of West Virginia State University, speaking on “The Future of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”

For more information, contact Burnis R. Morris, director of The Carter G. Woodson Lyceum, at


2023 Black History Month Poster Competition
IMPORTANT: The deadline for the poster competition has been extended to Friday, Nov. 18, 2022!

K-12 Black History Month Poster Competition Page

2023 Black History Month Poster Competition Information

Cincinnati Charter School Collective K-12 Black History Month Poster Competition 

2022 Black History Month Poster Contest Winners
Marshall University Winners

First Place

Jacob Wood, MU senior

The first place winning poster that became the Official 2022  Black History Month Poster of the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum was created by Marshall senior Jacob Wood, who is working toward a double major in Advertising/Public Relations and Graphic Design, with a minor  in Creative Writing.

“I really wanted to use this poster as a spotlight to shine on an individual who has done a lot of good for the health and wellness community. I began doing research on various African American medical professionals that have contributed to the betterment of society and medical advancements,” Wood said. “There were countless options to choose from! … I cannot stress enough how hard it was to narrow down one individual to focus on. After a lot of pondering, I decided to honor Dr. Patricia Bath (1942-2019). As someone who personally has struggled with vision problems, the works of Dr. Bath hit very close to home. Dr. Bath was the woman who invented the Laserphaco Scope, a critical invention that was essential in the advancement of treatment in cataract surgery. She was a strong advocate for the prevention of sight-related illnesses and conditions.”

Merit Award

  • Nicole Carey, a senior who is working toward her B.F.A. in Graphic Design, senior.
  • Peyton Dolina senior working on a B.F.A. in Sculpture

High School Competition

First Place

Lyric Smith, 9th Grade, Huntington High School; Teacher: Sarah Black

“Preparing to make my poster, I learned more about the poor housing and lack of health check-ups. When making the poster I tried to incorporate all of the issues including those to spread awareness for people who live their lives that way. After making this poster, I hope that people can see it and want to help people who are less fortunate …”

Merit Award

Stevie Culbreth, 10th Grade, Huntington High School; Teacher: Marisa Main

Middle School Competition

First Place

Harper Armentrout, 8th Grade, Barboursville Middle School; Teacher: Molly Fisher

“During this project, I learned knowledge about the immense struggles that African-American health care workers have gone through, as well as the impact they have made. I learned how these influential, yet largely unrecognized people, came to change the health system so greatly. I researched the struggles in obtaining equal education for people of various ethnic groups. I found it very inspirational that, against much adversity, the health field is slowly becoming a field in which people of all races can succeed.”

Merit Award

Jillian Castle, 7th Grade, Barboursville Middle School: Teacher: Molly Fisher

Elementary School Competition

First Place (Tie)

Nevaeh Hayes, 4th Grade, Meadows Elementary; Teacher: Charity Baker

“I started thinking about researching something to do that would go with black health and wellness. Then I had the idea of several things (that go with Black health and wellness), including working out, making sure to eat healthy, doctors taking care of you and how mental health is important as well. … It all came together and I think it shows everything I wanted to include.”

Ashton Schultz, 5th Grade, Southside Elementary; Teacher: Courtney Arnold

“Before I made my drawing, I used my iPad to research important people from history (who) impacted health and wellness for Black Americans. That’s when I learned that health and wellness wasn’t always equal. I learned about many of the pioneers of both (Black) health and wellness … I think that anyone should be able to have the same treatments and equal access to good health care. Everyone is equal no matter what the race.”

The poster contest is held annually by The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum, which is directed by Burnis Morris, a professor of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall.

The Woodson Lyceum has been helping educators integrate Black history into school curricula since 2016 and serves as a forum that provides opportunities to address this and other education issues, including race and a free press, in ways inspired by Woodson’s teachings. Woodson was a Huntington educator and West Virginia coal miner who is recognized as the Father of Black History.
Black History Month kicks off with announcement of poster competition winners
The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum at Marshall University kicked off Black History Month Friday with a special online event featuring guest speaker Dr. Teresa Eagle, dean of Marshall’s College of Education and Professional Development and a former schoolteacher. The virtual event also included the unveiling of the 2022 Black History Poster Competition winners and announced the 2022 Teachers Institute for Black History, which is supported through a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council and will welcome teachers in June.The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum and Marshall’s Center for African American Students have several events planned this year in recognition of Black History Month, ranging from lectures to dramatic readings to tours of Huntington’s Black history, cooking demonstrations, genealogy workshops, the Ebony Ball and much more.Among the many activities are the Annual Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lecture on Feb. 18, supported by the Drinko Academy. The topic is “Understanding Tulsa.” John W. Franklin will discuss the papers of his grandfather, Buck Franklin, a prominent lawyer who represented survivors of the “Black Wall Street” massacre in the 1920s. On Feb. 21, Dr. William Turner will discuss “The Appalachian Origins of the Modern Civil Rights Movement.” Turner is an author and diversity consultant, and retired distinguished professor of Black and Appalachian studies from Berea College.Set for Feb 25 is “Black Physicians in the Union Army in the War of the Rebellion,” a discussion with Dr. Esly Caldwell, a Cincinnati physician and researcher. Dr. Leonard White, a physician and assistant dean of the Marshall University School of Medicine, also will discuss concerns about local residents’ health and wellness.A full list of activities is at contest winners:The topic of this year’s Black History Poster Competition was Black Health and Wellness. The official first place winner received a $200 prize, with K-12 winners receiving $100 prizes, and their teachers getting $50 prizes.Eagle, a former high school math teacher, reminded the student winners of the art competition of how they can impact those around them.“My challenge to you is to think clearly about what you do, think, believe and what you’re passionate about and put that out there in how you behave, the things that you do, the work that you turn in, the pictures you draw, the way that you talk with your friends or your teachers or your parents,” she said. “You never know how something you do or say or think is going to make someone kinder, be more understanding of the world around them or the problems that other people have, or motivate them to do something that will make a difference in the world, and it started with you.”Marshall University President Brad D. Smith celebrated with the students as well.“I am excited to see the art and creativity that you have brought forth today, and I’m excited about the theme,” Smith told the student winners. “It reminds us not only of what has happened in the past, but what is possible in the future.“… I’m a big believer in what we’re doing now and what we’re celebrating this month because if not for all the amazing men and women that we celebrate during Black History Month, we would not be the school we are, we would not be the nation we are, we would not be the world we are.”
The 2021 Teacher’s Institute for Black History
June 19 – 23, 2021
This Institute for Black History Instruction is a graduate humanities course that provides a stipend and tuition-free credits to teachers who successfully complete the course. The 2021 institute is The Lyceum’s fourth such program in support of teacher education, following previous institutes in 2017, 2019 and 2020 – all conducted with major grants from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

2021 Teacher’s Institute Syllabus

Biographies of Participants

Carter G. Woodson Portrait by Sassa Wilkes
Carter G. Woodson Portrait by Sassa Wilkes

2021 Black History Month Events

4 p.m. Feb. 1– Unveiling a new portrait of Dr. Carter G. Woodson. The artist, Sassa Wilkes, is a Marshall graduate. Jack Houvouras, editor of Huntington Quarterly, will unveil his magazine cover with Woodson. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams will read the 2021 Black History proclamation. Sylvia Cyrus, executive director of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, will provide remarks and react to the portrait. Ms. Cyrus’ organization was founded by Dr. Woodson in 1915 (as the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History), and she holds his title. Co-sponsor – Huntington Tri-State Branch, Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Link to this virtual event:

2021 Black History Month Opening Celebration Program

4 p.m. Feb. 3 – Presentation by Angela Dodson, a member of Marshall’s Journalism Hall of Fame and the first Black journalist to edit a section of The New York Times. She will read from her book, “Remember the Ladies,” and discuss her lifelong ties to Huntington. Three copies of Ms. Dodson’s book will be given away during the program Dr. Gayle Brazeau, dean of the School of Pharmacy and donor of the books, will read her favorite Maya Angelou poem. The School of Pharmacy is co-sponsoring this event, courtesy of Gayle and Daniel Brazeau. Also co-sponsoring is Huntington Tri-State Branch, Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Link to this virtual event:

2021 Black History Month with Angela Dodson Program

Angela Dodson presentation video

4 p.m. Feb. 10 – “Disparities in Health Care During the Pandemic,” with Jill Upson, chair of the West Virginia COVID-19 Advisory Commission on African American Disparities and executive director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs; Dr. Joseph Shapiro, dean of Marshal University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine; Dr. Lauri Andress, West Virginia University School of Public Health; Dr. Leonard White, Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Dr. Andress will discuss infant mortality disparities in West Virginia, Dr. White will urge African Americans to get the vaccine, and Huntington Mayor Steve Williams will give remarks about how Dr. White saved his life. Co-sponsor – Huntington Tri-State Branch, Association for the Study of African American Life and History.  Link to this virtual event:

Disparities in Health Care During the Pandemic Program

6 p.m. Feb. 26 – Winners of the Annual Black History Month Essay Competition will be announced during a program co-sponsored by The National PanHellenic Council on behalf of the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life, the Psi Beta Beta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. and The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum. The link to the event will be available soon on the NPHC Herdlink Page For additional information, contact

June 19-23 – With funding from West Virginia Humanities Council, The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum is offering a Black History Institute for all K-12 teachers, especially those who teach art, English, literature, history and social studies. Teachers selected for the program will receive $500 stipends, and they may receive three graduate professional development credits with paid tuition. This is The Lyceum’s fourth institute since 2017. Deadline: by 5 p.m. March 31, 2021. Contact Professor Burnis Morris,, or apply online at

Marshall receives grant for Black History Institute, announces winners of 2021 Black History Poster Contest

The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum at Marshall University announced a major grant from West Virginia Humanities Council supporting its summer Black History Institute, as well as winners of the 2021 Black History Competition. The Lyceum also previewed short documentaries by local filmmakers and announced upcoming events involving commemoration of the 95th annual salute to African Americans in history.

The grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council will support K-12 teachers who will study history and how to better integrate Black history within their lessons. The award covers three hours of graduate credit and provides teachers with $500 stipends.

This summer’s Black History Institute will be the fourth such program since 2017 at Marshall University and is scheduled for June 19-23, 2021. Tentative plans include travel to historic sites; however, the pandemic may require virtual presentations if travel remains unsafe in June.

The program also is made possible through support from Glenwood Foundation and other Woodson Lyceum resources, including Marshall University’s College of Arts and Media, College of Education and Professional Development, Intercultural Affairs, W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications and West Virginia’s Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs.

The deadline for applications is by 5 p.m. on March 31. Instructions for applicants will be available by mid-February. In the meantime, teachers with questions should feel free to contact Professor Morris at Applications can be submitted to:

Also celebrating Black History is the annual Black History Poster contest, sponsored by the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum. The 2021 Poster Competition winners are:

Marshall University winners
2021 Black History Month Poster Contest Winner - Marshall University

1st Place: Isabella Schrader, freshman, Biological Engineering, from Chesapeake, Ohio

“For my poster, I decided to portray two separate individuals, holding up a poster in protest,” Schrader said. “As you can see, the two people are of different races, symbolizing that everyone must work together for any progress to be made regarding racial justice. I used a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., because his words greatly resonate with the overarching theme of the project, as well as current events surrounding racism. The words also added to the effect of the protest sign, as part of it appears to be directly written on the sign. The tape over silence is meant to show that if people are being silent, they are doing damage and the tape must be removed in order for real change to be accomplished. The sky behind the poster and hands is bright blue and has white, puffy clouds to show that even if a day is ‘calm’ or ‘nice,’ the fight is not over, and we must continue to take action. Overall, I wanted this poster to show that racial justice is essential to a better society, and we will only achieve this goal if people are united.”

2nd Place: Shawna Lockard, freshman, Biology Major, Minor in Chemistry, from Kermit, West Virginia

“No one knows a single right way to go about combatting the systematic institution of racism,” Lockard said. “However, there is a wrong action- no action at all. No matter what you are able to do to assume the role of an antiracist or what resources you have to go about fighting for true equality, the important part is that you do something. You break away from the shackles of indifference and inaction that keeps you bound and raise your fist to join the movement. I’ve learned that if a group of Americans are being mistreated, it is a problem for ALL Americans and demands immediate action. For this poster, I used only acrylic paint and white ink.”

3rd Place: Tyler Hebert, freshman, Civil Engineering with a minor in Chemistry, from Huntington

“As a white individual, I felt it was necessary to focus primarily on African American college students and specifically a female African American Marshall student rather than focusing on ideals that didn’t directly impact Marshall students,” Hebert said. “My model is a freshman student who I met and became close friends with during my first semester at Marshall. Utilizing her in my poster was a way to convey her troubles, experiences, and overall opinions on how to showcase and improve racial justice. My concept is to show that racial injustice is an ongoing issue and will continue to persist no matter what happens, linking directly to the historical quote located in my poster, ‘You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea,’ by Medgar Evers. With continual abuse and neglect of African Americans through our country and government, the cause is gaining more traction and attention now due to the exposure of people to the issue. My poster is intended to draw your attention and be impactful in that this fight for racial equality will not be silenced, hitting to the metaphor of the women ripping the tape off her face which has ‘silence’ written on it.”
Elementary School winner
2021 Black History Month Poster Contest Winner - Elementary School Winner

1st Place: Elynn Winters, 5th Grade, Southside Elementary School, Teacher Courtney Arnold

This poster is commended for its forthright representation of the “Racial Justice” theme; clarity of message; color scheme; and also for use of technology in the creation of the design. The use of emojis situates this as a youthful entry of these times.

“My poster is about supporting equal rights for people of color,” Elynn said. “I put equality for all at the bottom because everyone needs to take that in.”

Middle School winner
2021 Black History Month Poster Contest winner - Middle School winner

1st Place: Milla Werthammer, 8th Grade, Barboursville Middle School, Teacher Molly Fisher

Commended for color, subtle skin tones, scale shift from hands to portraits, and featuring both prominent African American men and women.

“While preparing my submission for this contest, I learned many facts about black history and was inspired by the four most influential African American leaders,” Mill said. “I chose to illustrate Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, and Barack Obama because they fundamentally helped shape the world in which we live today.”

High School winners
2021 Black History Month Poster Contest Winner

1st Place: Chloe Massey, 9th Grade, Huntington High School, Teacher Anthony Loveday

Commended for powerful expression of the 2021 theme, the honoring of those who have died recently in police custody, and a moving use of color, paint, word, and image. All areas of this ambitious poster were filled with meaning, with supporting subject matter positioned around the central focus on two African Americans. The original typography of “No Justice, No Peace” is exceptional – bold, dimensional, emotional. This entry is both a successful poster design and a work of fine art.

“I learned that race-based inequality is a major issue in the world we know today,” Chloe said. “I learned that I can push my artistic skills and make a beautiful piece of art that means something and could help someone. I painted this painting to show that no matter where you came from, no matter your skin tone, religion, or culture you can make a change and stand together to make a world a better place. I’m so happy that I got the chance to make this because I never knew I was capable of making something so powerful. This piece made me realize that I have a place in this world and it’s to help other people. So that hopefully they can help others and the world can be the way it should be. Equal.”

2nd Place: Alexandria Lindberg, 12th Grade, Huntington High School, Teacher Diana Frazier

The light-hearted and appealing color scheme and decorative border effectively draw

viewers to notice that this is in fact an image of protest and proclaims ideals of racial


“I demonstrated the history of protests in my submission, as well as emphasizing meaningful quotes that showcase the emotions of those who demanded equal rights,” Alexandria said. “Dr. Woodson pushed for recognition of black history in schools, this contribution has developed into an entire month of awareness and appreciation of those who fought and continue to fight for equal rights. Especially now and within the past few months, the recognition of the current problems African Americans are currently facing has opened up more attention towards the importance of voting for change.”

3rd Place-Tie: Kyleigh Hoey, 11th Grade, Huntington High School, Teacher Diana Frazier

This entry takes an original approach to the use of the fist as a universal symbol of

protest. The text on the fist is well chosen for the theme and also relate well to the forms of the hand. The collaged, photographic images in the space around the fist are diverse in subject, scale, and source, and link contemporary and historical times.

“I was inspired by Carter G. Woodson’s education and teaching career and feel an even greater connection to his inspiring story given our shared experience of growing up in Huntington,” Kyleigh said. “My poster includes a central Black Lives Matter fist to represent the ongoing struggle African Americans to achieve full equity and justice in this country. In white are the words of Carter G. Woodson and the title of my poster. Along the edges are pictures torn out of old National Geographic magazines that date to the 60s and are intended to symbolize something of this continuing struggle and elements of black history. The more prominent photos are of Woodson and important symbols of his past.”

3rd Place-Tie: Nicole LeGrow, 12th Grade, Huntington High School, Teacher Anthony Loveday

This image is bold and yet it also rewards the careful viewer. The tear, the draped chain around neck and shoulders, and the American flag covering the mouth combine to create a notable sense of pathos. The choice to present a woman relates well to the role of women in founding the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I chose to incorporate specific symbols like the chains around her body and the American flag taped over her mouth to spotlight how we silence and ignore the issues on race inequality because as white people we feel like in does not pertain to us,” Nicole said. “In reality black people must deal with systematic racism and discrimination every day which effects an entire class of people and if we stay silent about racial inequality, nothing will ever change. I also chose to add newspaper to the background to symbolize how Black Lives Matter is negatively portrayed in the media and how racial issues are almost never covered or given the positive attention that it so desperately needs to show the world that racism is still happening and yes it is up to us the fix it.”

2020 Teachers Institute on Black History

June 15-19, 2020

Click for more information

High School Journalism Workshop, June 22-25, 2020

The W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University invites students in grades 9-12 to apply for admission to a program that will help them improve communication skills in a summer-camp setting, while preparing for college. Students will study writing for news and sports, film making, law of the press and social media, during four days and three nights of study and fun on the Huntington campus.

Click for more information

Burnis R. Morris: Woodson’s black history blueprint laid out ideals

The Herald-Dispatch Feb. 2, 2020 

The Lyceum is named in honor of Woodson (1875-1950), one of the leading educators of the 20th century, a former West Virginia coal miner and a former resident of Huntington, where he graduated from high school in 1896 and served as the school’s principal from 1900 to 1903. Woodson was the second African American student to receive a Ph.D. in history at Harvard and the first person whose parents were former slaves to earn a doctorate in history from any institution. The lyceum’s name also is inspired by Aristotle’s lyceum, a school founded in 335 B.C. as a place for thinking and learning.

At Marshall, The Lyceum will reflect influences of Woodson and Aristotle – while addressing critical issues involving education, freedom of expression and race/ethnicity. The lyceum will support scholarships for minorities and disadvantaged students and encourage full participation of all groups and individuals seeking the American dream.

This website is supported as part of a 2016 grant from West Virginia Humanities Council to create a summer institute on black history instruction. The site extends the reach of the June 2017 institute to many students and teachers across the country who could not attend in person.