We are humans of a race that is so hard to make it into society. Is it our faults that we were enslaved for hundreds of years, no, but yet to this day we are still enslaved in the mind? A mind is a terrible thing to waste which was the slogan in 1972 by the United Negro College Fund, but Carter G. Woodson explains it better In the Mis-Education of the Negro.
As negroes, we are taught by going to school certain things to look and read at. In art, we are told that European and Greek art are the greatest things to look at pertaining to the arts. In music, we look at classical from great white composers instead of African American ones. We would pick up literature against the African American instead of one that's for the African American. Well I'm sad to inform you but this is true. Mr. Woodson saw this when he wrote his book and still today, it is still in effect.
We choose to stay mis-educated due to the fact that we as a people do not choose to excel in embracing our minds. At Texas Southern University, we can say that we have a class in African American studies taught by an African American who has been around, traveled, and knows what he or she has been taught through experience. How would you feel that in other universities around the country have that same course but yet taught by a different race? I am not a racist but its time for our race to be not informed but become informed of our past, present, and future.
It's funny though. Did you know that most of our "political" day to day people we see and hear on the news are the most mis-educated people? For instance, Tyler Perry would dress as the most famous cross dressed woman everyone would know, Madea. Is it so that the fact that during the slavery times, the "Mamie", was the symbol for keeping the family together? It does but it has a darker meaning. I just had a recent conversation with my sociology teacher but he recently told me that white men love black woman. I knew that already but some white men didn't like the fact white men and black woman were all together. The Mamie was also formed as an unattractive black woman with a big butt and big lips that's always loud. It's tragic the way that other cultures view our women but this Is what is perceived. There are others that does this but this is the most commonly known person to do this but chooses to stay out the public's eye.
The one issue with being seen and being mis-educated is the fact that you are educated and you're not doing anything about it. To the public's eye, if you are not in your community involved or have special programs, you are considered a bad role model. In this case you would want your people to succeed and in special made programs. But if your do get the programs right, there is a chance that there will not be any individuality within that person because you would want that person to conform unto society ways. I'm not saying the phrase "selling out", but your conforming unto your white counterparts takes away what that you have started with that of what you started to think. It's difficult but we need to encourage our black counterparts to be all what we can be.
We missed an important mark growing up as being mis-educated. After the Civil war, it was upon the society to show us where our education was supposed to lead us. Systems had to be in place for our education to the white man, it was not viewed as their responsibility.
During this time, W.E.B. Dubois had an argument that was saying with this education that we have, we should use it to show philanthropy. We should take the opportunity to learn how be "political" and be educated like how he was himself. With being so educated as like he was, there should not really be no labor of what he was arguing. Booker T. Washing had a different point of view.
Booker T. Washington believed you should go to school and learn trades for a special talent. He doesn't believe in getting all political, he believes in getting an education but yet work hard to achieve the things you want by learning a specific talent. By Mr. Washington being a previous slave, you can see how he stand on this view.
Carter G. Woodson stood between both points of views. He believed that because you are just coming from slavery, and the fact you would want to be educated, you should possess both traits. It's obvious that in the new society you would not be accepted because of fear and anger from your white counterparts. Have the knowledge how to work in a special talent to make money and a living and go out and become educated with politics.
How can we as a people drift away from our truth? There is one simple way of answering that question, distortion. I was taught in my Fine Arts and Daily Living Class that you should never touch art due to its richness in color and texture. If you do touch it, you ruin hard work that was placed there by the painter. Well in life, if you want to ruin our distort life, then take its history and change it.
Should it be a grave unjust that the Negro was reminded of how their inferiority was that they are the true germ carriers? The emergence of syphilis and tuberculosis among African Americans are always emphasized among most diseases. Today, our most commonly known disease in the African American community is HIV. The weird thing is that there is very emphasis on the fact that we are immune to diseases like yellow fever, and influenza which are horrible to whites.
History is a delicate subject for most people that study in it. Where does the African American have a place in history? When we think of Africa, we think of the Dark continent with despair instead of the rich culture or minerals such as diamonds and gold. We don't think about the great pyramids of Egypt that is one of the 7 wonders of the world. We would rather think about the exploitations of Caucasians. Apparently at this time, the negro had no place in this curriculum.
With teaching of fine arts, instructors usually start with Greece of how the world was influenced with their way. It's kind of ironic that most of all art work from the world came from the Africans. We failed to teach about the Mediterranean melting pot with the Africans bring their, wares, ideas, and blood to influence the history. Their art has influence the history of Greece, Carthage, and Rome. Maybe we choose to ignore the truth of these theories but either way, it happened.
"In educating the Negro what would happen to the white?" For education, what was being thought of about those of outside control for our education. We were to give certain white people glory for the way they came down and "gave" us education. It is so that they helped established schools, and churches, in which we should be building more wisely then we do. We should believe in the theory that the only way to elevate people is to help them to help themselves.
Although there were presidents over universities that were white, the Negro were still in a slave position. A president over one of the schools never entertains an African American in his me. Usually move guest to the dining room. Sometimes the guest would be moved into a guest cottage where they would have to only enter as servants. By no protest from the negroes, this showed cowards, and forever we will be cowards if we don't open up our mouths.
It is ok for a white man to be qualified to have a position at a negro school teaching. Commend them. Some positions a white man is better trained to such subject, why object. But if an African American was in his own society under his kind, he can easily develop his own leadership in how not to be a coward and start to show his own individuality. Mentally, we will always be here if we tear each other down to depression.
Instead of separation the system of education, we need to understand the sympathy of it. We should take in mind that that process of education is help lead together as one so the world can move better. For the person that truly understands that can truly call themselves an educator. Real education means to live life more easier, and inspire people to live more righteous.
The concept of the word "friend" is a dangerous word for "African Americans. When we tend to get in high position in life, we tend to keep underprivileged friends by our side. You can never tell when they will embarrass you in front of other. Just keep in mind that within education, as you move up, there are those that are jealous.
The thought of having this education movement is to provide the southern Negroes a chance of education. Something especially to look at was medical school, even which, many would not admit Negroes because of the friction of race. We needed more institutions in the south just like Howard University for southerners because they were starting to become rushed.
The shameful status of higher learning is due to the low standards of institutions toward the diploma. To get a job or hold one, you have to be competitive. As long as you don't have the drive to go for more, then you will not receive anymore. The assumption that any school wants you is over now.
There should not be any argument against earning higher degrees. Let these degrees be a honor to the training with scholastic distinction. The degree isn't just a piece of paper to make money, its and opportunity of greatness to receive a new life of learning.
The worst thing possible with getting an degree is having no idea how to make a living with it. We have always know something about agriculture, and in a land that is abundant, that's how we made a living. The role of business and education was supposed to be an uplift to the race but it still turned out less significant.
Instead of going to college with just wanting to know how to work with machines, you should go and learn how to create a machine. Go for majors that will push you into a life that will make you successful. We more people, majoring in math and physics. Those two subjects alone, you will always have a job.
As we move with our lives, we should invest money in some enterprises of our own to become successful. It has been discovered that people that never invest in Negro ownerships, always tries to exploit the business and try to find a fault to satisfy themselves. As miseducated Negroes, we would agree to it without actually doing our own research. Shockingly, proportion to the amount of capital invested Negro businesses manifest about as much as a white own business. If a black owner doesn't get his own kind to support will develop depression that he failed his kind, which would cause him to give up.
The highly educated negroes believes that since the present day system of capitalism, we have no chance to climb up the economic sphere. There can be no objection to the radical change in time. As for trying to be educated, you can't fault a man for trying to become successful. Professors in this field are not prepared to do the work, and the heads of our institutions should be addressing themselves to study of a situation which threatens the negro with the economy.
Our schools that are for trained, don't give us this point of view. We may occasionally learn the parts of stenography and accounting, but we don't know how to apply what we have studied. Our training gives us false conception of life, when we believe that the business world owes us a position of leadership. We have the idea of business training that we used to have of teaching that we could teach anything and study anything.
Those that graduate from our business schools, lack the courage to go for working with commission. The majority wants us wants to receive a paycheck at the end of every month. We don't realize that in this day, it's good to get paid for the work we have put in. People that do not realize life as what it is, is a horrible representation of business.
From the point of view of industry and commerce, then, we show no mental power to understand the situation we find. We apparently read our race from the sphere of education and business. Foreigners see the opportunities to take our businesses and opportunities in which we are scared to take. The main problem is we do not have any people skills in salesmanship.
It is sad that we do not understand or not willing to start our own enterprises which could turn into a large corporation one day. If we do not know how to take a chance, we would never know how to take control of the life that is around us. Training is necessary, for the large number of blacks running corporations have not learned business methods and do not understand the possibilities of the field in which they operate.
Negro businesses are handicapped, which so, have not developed their own stability and the capacity for its growth. We do not take time to read the business literature and study how the market is doing. We stay in the dark because we do not take the time to get properly trained. Usually when the founder of the business passes away then the actual business dies with him or goes within pieces.
All failures are not due to the black business. Often, the owner lacks common sense. If you have a business, stay within your business instead of worrying about others. Keep the managements going within itself. Only with this, we will then become true entrepreneurs.
One of the main failures of education is of religion that is being taught. Of its illustration, it paints a picture. Most blacks still belong to these churches but the more educated seem to find their way to evangelical groups. These churches do not measure up to the standard set by school preachers.
The church is the great asset of the race. It is connected as part of capital that our race must invest in. The church has taken the lead of education in the school for the race. In neglecting it, they are throwing away what they have, to obtain something which they do need. With many respects, the black churches during different generation become corrupt.
Some people say we have not lost our interest in religion, that we have gone into churches with a more open minded view. And then we have a sort of contagious fever which takes away from the churches of their youth others of less formal education.
A change of faith is all right in a sense, for those that are closed minded, they would create an argument. Religion is nothing but religion, if they hold up to the faith that they claim. The point here is that the ritualistic churches into which blacks have gone do not touch the masses, and they show no future with racial development.
From respect to developing the masses, the black has lost its foundation in recent years. The attitudes of leaders were different then as they are today. Too many blacks go to school to study for test so they can just pass. This attitude is retarded and grows people towards selfishness.
Some conditions show that undeveloped black has been left from those that supposed to help him. When a white man sees persons of his own race falling downward to disgrace, he does whatever he can to pick him back up in life.
It is sad that that the only institution blacks own is the church. The education of the business, we lack capital, credit, and experience for us to receive wealth to get into a higher culture.
Sometimes you will find as many as two store-front churches in a block where Negroes incorporate in heathen-like practices. Although born and brought in the south, Mr. Woodson has never saw such idolatrous tendencies ever.
Another area said that we must have new way of doing things and we can call ourselves Methodist. Methodist and Baptists split up on the account of holding slaves. We as blacks chose to imitate them. All of the black Methodists in the world, if unite, would not need more than 12 bishops, and these would have time to direct the affairs of both Methodists and Baptists in a united church.
The theology of foreigners too is important on unenlightened people. Whit bringing the joy of conquest to their own camp, they have confused the world with disputes which have divided the church and stimulated division and subdivision to the extent that it no longer functions as a Christian agency for the uplift of all men.
While serving as the avenue of the oppressor's propaganda, the black church has prevented the union of diversity and has kept the race too weak to overcome purposely taught Negroes. This is important to the control of the inferior race. Someone just sits back and plots while the other one acts.
We must hold blacks responsible for following these ignorant to this nonsense with which they have confused thoughtless people. As what has been said before, we tend to do what we are told instead of asking for the meaning for our actions. Our leaders know better but because of their miseducation, many will always tend to be miseducated.
In chapter 7, Dr. Woodson continues his discussion of the church. He mentions how in the past African Americans have been mis-educated based on training. Dr. Woodson references how the "highly educated" Negro has become so "intellectual" in his understanding of religion. We should not just allow ourselves to just not ask questions referring what study but question it. He also discusses the concept of rituals and how this does not help in racial development.
Dr. Woodson also cautions African Americans that they must always remember that the African Americans learned their religion from the early White Methodist and Baptist who evangelized the slaves and the poor Whites. So the questions become, is the Black Church a pattern of the White man's church? Have Black churches become the dumping ground for uneducated people carrying the Bible?
If we are still mis educated, then we are an imitation of the white church that was for slavery. We were segregated when we were taught or told what or how we were supposed to live under the bible.
According to Dr. Woodson's findings, African Americans had been discouraged in the pursuit of the professions other than the ministry and teaching. Dr. Woodson noted several reasons why African Americans lacked degrees in fields such as medicine, law, architecture, etc. Some Black parents had failed to encourage their children to pursue professional degrees.
Some Black professional schools had closed because of the small number of students enrolled. Woodson further asserted that these closings came at a very difficult time. Under the "separate but equal" doctrine established by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), law schools were desperately needed to train lawyers to protect African Americans' civil and political rights.
Woodson also suggested that too many "highly educated" individual Woodson asserts the lack of political education among African Americans in the 1930s. This was due to actions taken by Whites. For years, textbooks produced specifically for Black students did not include the U.S. Constitution. One state legislature prohibited the inclusion of the Constitution in history textbooks citing the fear that Black students would read it and attempt to demand or even assert their rights. Black education had to have as its foundation, the assurance that Blacks would not compete with Whites. "It was well understood that if by the teaching of history the White man could be further assured of his superiority and the Negro could be made to feel that he had always been a failure, and that the subjugation of his will to some other race is necessary the freedman, then, would still be a slave."
As long as Southern apologists controlled what was in history textbooks, they could teach that slavery was a benevolent institution and that radical abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison and John Brown caused the "unnecessary" Civil War. Without knowledge of the changes in the U.S. Constitution, the civil rights established by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments could be ignored and denied to Black citizens. Woodson's overall message in this chapter is captured in the quote: "If you can control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one. This belief among some "highly educated" Blacks and Whites often discouraged Black students from pursuing professional degrees
In chapter ten, Dr. Woodson emphasizes that there was a loss of vision. This loss of vision was due to African Americans not thinking for themselves. Dr. Woodson provides an example of this when he discusses some highly educated individuals. "Denied participation in the higher things of life, the 'educated' Negro himself joins, too, with ill designing persons to handicap his people by systematized exploitation." Dr. Woodson also discusses this loss of vision in terms of the lack of confidence. Dr. Woodson declared that "the lack of confidence of the Negro in himself and in his possibilities is what has kept him down." Dr. Woodson emphasizes that until the Negro employs new ways of "thinking," there will be no change in his condition, and he will always remain oppressed.
Why there is a greater need for service rather than leadership in Black Communities. He mentions how the African American community has had problems with its leadership in the past. Negroes often find themselves giving money and moral support to various persons and institutions that influence the race in the wrong wayâ€¦ The race needs workers not leaders-workers will solve the problems which race leaders talk about and raise money to enable them to talk more and more
Dr. Woodson then discusses the concept of "hirelings" as opposed to "public servants." A hireling is a person who is paid to serve. Dr. Woodson defines the real servant of the people as one who lives among them, thinks with them, feels for them, and perhaps dies for them. Dr. Woodson emphasizes the value of learning about Black history. He discusses how this history has not been taught, but European history has been promoted. When Woodson asked Black college administrators, they responded, "'We do not offer here any course in Negro history, Negro literature, or race relations,' recently said a professor of a Negro college. 'We study the Negro along with other people.'" However, Woodson believed, "No one can be thoroughly educated until he learns as much about the Negro as he knows about other people."
Unfortunately, Woodson reported that, "Upon examining the recent catalogues of the leading Negro colleges, one finds that invariably they give courses in ancient, medieval, and modern Europe, but they do not give such courses in ancient, medieval, and modern Africa." As you explore this chapter, reflect on the impact that having an accurate understanding of African American history will have on current and future generations of all Americans.
In chapter 14, Dr. Woodson describes a new program for the education of the Black American. The substance of Woodson's New Program centers around the study of Black life during the antebellum period. Ignorance of the antebellum era and the valuable cultural practices Africans brought with them from Africa must be addressed. These assumptions prevent current Black students from being equipped to handle the social problems of today.
Woodson compares the aims of the New Program with the successful education of the Filipinos. The first "highly educated" Americans into the conquered Philippine Islands after the Spanish American War in 1898 tried to teach the Filipinos the same way and with the same material used to teach American children. This strategy met with failure. An insurance man, who had never been an educator, came up with a plan that worked. He realized that to teach the Filipinos, it was necessary to make the learning relevant to their daily lives. These children needed to be taught through the use of objects from their own culture. Using this strategy, Woodson suggests that the education of the Black American would emphasize Black American culture. The accomplishments of "American" heroes should not be ignored; but the accomplishments of Black Americans have to be given equal time, honor and respect.
According to Dr. Woodson, schools were not preparing Black students to make a living. He argued that the schools that African American students attended had outmoded equipment that needed to be replaced by more advanced technology. He believed there should be a shift in the type of instruction that African Americans were given, and also in the educational approaches of those providing the instruction.
Dr. Woodson further asserted that Black Americans needed to change the way they thought about and spent their money. He was particularly concerned with those African Americans who practiced "conspicuous consumption," excessive and unnecessary purchases that give the impression that one has more money than one actually does. Woodson wrote, "conspicuous consumption is a result of successful enterprise, not the road to enterprise. They [Blacks] should concentrate on the wise use of their money, and the evil that results from the misuse of it." What would be examples of conspicuous consumption in the present-day Black community? Above all, Woodson uses this chapter to argue that African Americans should adopt wise, informed, and astute business practices. These practices, he offers, will help African Americans achieve a strong and healthy economic future.
Dr. Woodson believed that Black students need to go into professional arenas to serve members of the race. Black lawyers are needed to address certain aspects of law, which affect African Americans more than others. Black lawyers need to know more about the people that they serve to meet the special needs of these people. According to Woodson, in the past too many cases before the Supreme Court had been lost because the lawyers lacked the knowledge to present their cases properly to the court. Woodson suggested that law schools needed to expand course work in Constitutional law to prepare lawyers to protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
Because of the lack of desire on the part of some White physicians for physical contact with Black patients, Black doctors had a better chance of working among their people than the Black lawyers. However, all too often Negro doctors had entered the profession to "increase their
income and spend it on joyous living." Instead of spending money without thought or care, Woodson argued that these doctors needed to focus on research and dedication to the Black community.
Woodson also felt that Black students should not limit their professional aspirations to medicine and law. Woodson also wanted African Americans to pursue careers in the arts. He wrote that African Americans had demonstrated an aptitude for the arts. However, because African Americans' contributions were not always recognized in the United States, Woodson felt that the Black artist should seek appreciation for his or her craft in Europe or other places. "In Europe, the Negro artist is not seen as an imitator," Woodson wrote. "There is a desire among Europeans to view the art of the African not from the vantage point of the oppressor, but from the Negro himself."
In chapter 17, Woodson placed a great deal of emphasis on politics. Woodson maintained that in politics, African Americans should not only be concerned with issues that concerned them exclusively, but they should address problems facing others as well. Woodson also argues that in politics, African Americans should not join or vote for a political party to "reward the dead for some favors done in the distant past." This is clearly a reference to the practice of Black voters in the past supporting the Republican party because of Abraham Lincoln.
Beyond politics, Woodson called for Black Americans to fully participate in the American economy. In addressing economic issues, Woodson argued that African Americans could make improvements in their social lives and contribute to the advancement of the entire society. Woodson suggested that African Americans ought to be radical in approaching economic and social change. This radicalism should come from within, or based on their experiences as formerly enslaved and impoverished workers in the American economy. Dr. Woodson emphasizes again the importance of studying and knowing African American History. He explains how many Blacks "hate" their history, but are taught to respect others' history.
As miseducated Negros, it's time to become educated. We have all the same opportunities as the white man does so let's grasp the future while we can.