Jordan is currently searching for photographs, documents and artifacts related to Woodson so he can create a traveling exhibit of Woodson's life and to promote black heritage studies.
"When I was doing graduate work at Ohio State, I did a paper on Dr. Woodson. That is where my interest began," Jordan said. He holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater from West Virginia University, and a master of arts in African-American studies from Ohio State University. He has taught African-American literature at West Virginia University and Glenville State College.
It's not easy to get Jordan to talk about himself. He's far more interested in getting the word out about the importance of black studies and history, particularly about Woodson and Booker T. Washington.
About himself, he simply says, "I am a poet."
Others, like Preston Richardson with the West Virginia Library Commission, are quick to point out that Jordan has plenty of his own merits.
Jordan will be recognized as the guest speaker at the 2014 African-American Literature Celebration at 6 p.m. Feb. 7 in the Culture Center Great Hall, Richardson said.
Jordan recently released a book of poetry, "Sing Me Different."
His poetry has been anthologized in 41 books of poetry, including most recently "Make a Joyful Sound: Poems for Children by African-American Poets," "In Search of Color Everywhere: A Collection of African-American Poetry" and "Wild Sweet Notes: Fifty Years of West Virginia Poetry, 1950-1999."
Jordan was a featured poet in Creative Classroom, a magazine published by the Children's Television Workshop for the "Sesame Street" television show.
Jordan is a playwright as well. He was the first recipient of the Harriet Eells Performing Arts Fellowship at the Karamu House Theater in Cleveland. He is president of the West Virginia African American Arts and Heritage Academy, and was the recipient of a Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Award in 2000, issued by the Martin Luther King Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission.
On Feb. 20, Jordan will present a program on Woodson in the Canyon Rim Visitors Center at the New River Gorge National River. In that program, he will focus on what brought Woodson to Fayette County and the New River Gorge as well as his transition from Carter Woodson, the coal miner, to Carter Woodson, the Harvard University doctoral graduate. For additional information, call 304-574-2115.
Regarding other performances during Black History Month, "Our current History Alive! black history figures are the great abolitionist Harriet Tubman, portrayed by Ilene Evans, of Tucker County, and Osborne Perry Anderson and Martin Delany, both portrayed by Joe Bundy, of Bluefield," Sullivan said.
Anderson and Delany are both West Virginia figures and fairly obscure -- but introducing audiences to lesser-known figures is part of the fun of the program, he added.
Anderson was one of the black participants in John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry.
Delany was a newspaper editor, an associate of Frederick Douglass, and became the first black field officer in the U.S. Army. Both Anderson and Delany served with the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War.
For additional information about the History Alive! program, call 304-346-8500 or visit www.wvhumanities.org.
Reach Judy E. Hamilton at judy.hamil...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.