Juicy Reads:The Mis-Education of the Negro

We fail to take ourselves for what we are actually worth, and do not make the most of ourselves”

In the wake of yet another round of police shootings of unarmed black men in America, my heart is heavy.  Heavy, due to the love  for my country, but the stronger kinship to my people. Being black is not a curse, it’s not a death wish, and it’s not an inherent indicator to mark inferiority.

 It’s a legacy.

Whereas by tribulations and triumph, the black body in America has been taught to fight. We have fought against slavery, and are continually fighting against injustice. Although the key in victory is in education.

The chief difficulty with the education of the Negro is that it has been largely imitation resulting in the enslavement of his mind.

In 1933 , Carter G Woodson wrote The Mis-Education of the Negro where he addresses the issues surrounding the current status of education for black people and the inherent connection it has to socio-economic status and racism in America . Yet instead of taking the notion of “higher education for all”, he poignantly criticizes the methods and motives that have gone into the curriculum  starting in the early classroom that has insufficiently bred scores of what should be black leaders and activists in America. He then  takes a deeper look at the “two types” of education in which all black people can seek. ‘The one in which is given to him, and the one in which he seeks.” Where he notes that the latter is of the greatest importance towards the uplift of Black people due to curriculum that is distributed throughout the schools and colleges in America focus and direction towards the servitude of black people rather than one of  leadership and growth.

We must bear in mind that the Negro has never been educated. He has merely been informed about other things which he has not been permitted to do. The Negroes have been shoved out of the regular schools through the rear door into the obscurity of the backyard and told to imitate others whom they see from afar, or they have been permitted in some places to come into the public schools to see how others educate themselves. The program for the uplift of the Negro in this country must be based upon a scientific study of the Negro from within to develop in him the power to do for himself what his oppressors will never do to elevate  him to the level of others.

This weeks Juicy Read isn’t to entertain you, it’s to truly educate you! It’s a book that has truly redirected and shifted previous ideas I held in terms of the pursuit of higher education, ideas in leadership, and overall what it means to be black and educated. I can’t recommend this book enough, and can’t wait to re-read it.

Purchase Here

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