“To handicap a student by teaching him that his black face is a curse and that his struggle to change his condition is hopeless is the worst kind of lynching. It kills one’s aspirations and dooms him to vagabondage and crime”, is what Carter G. Woodson said in his book The Mis-Education Of The Negro, written in 1933. What he means is that by not teaching the Black child about his history and only about Roman or Greek history, he will never see the importance in the color of his skin.
Most people would say that there are places that Black-Americans could go to learn about their history, like black colleges and universities. But Carter G. Woodson says, “for example, an officer of a negro university, thinking that an additional course on the negro should be given there, called upon a Negro Doctor of Philosophy of the faculty to offer such work. He promptly informed the officer that he knew nothing about the Negro. He did not go to school to waste his time that way”. Later Woodson says, “even schools for Negroes, then, are places where they must be convinced of their inferiority.” The National Center For Education Statistics (NCES) says that there are 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in 19 states. In 2013, non-Black students made up 20 percent of enrollment at HBCUs, compared with 15 percent in 1976. The NCES says that black students enrollment in HBCUs has fallen over time, from 18% in 1976 to 8% in 2013.
Black children in school should be taught about Benjamin Banneker along with Albert Einstein, and if we should be taught about Martin Luther King Jr., we should also be taught about Malcolm X and the Black Panther Party. My dad bought a “Christian” history book that he wanted me to read for schoolwork. We did not use exclusively, but instead, used it in sections and to compare it with other historical textbooks and writings. I read it and almost immediately I found that when the book was talking about immigration, the percentage of “black immigrants” was high. But they were not immigrants, they were slaves. The author would rather say that the Africans were immigrants than slaves. Also, when the book showed a picture of slaves working with cotton, the author did not give any detail of who they were.
Slaves working the cotton gin in my history book, with the slave owners looking over their work. But there was no explanation of who, or why they were slaves.
Cover of the history book.
History books seem to try not to mention Black history, but you cannot teach American history without talking about Black history because Black people are in every part of American history. The reason Black history is getting left out of American history is because the Dominant society does not want Black people to know what White men and women did to them from day one. Also, if Black people did know their history some might take pride in what they learn. I did when I learned about how smart Africans were in Africa. If Black people take pride in their history they might start trying to change the situation in the United States today. When you homeschool your child you can educate them with the truth, not just a White view of American history.
Cool Pappa Ed. Note:
As Lexi was getting ready to publish, this came in hot off the press. I felt it summarized perfectly her point on why truth over “version” should always win, especially for those who claim to be followers of Christ, the author of Truth!
One thought on “Black Child In A White Education System”
Lexi, first, this is a much-needed topic of discussion in every school and at every level of ‘education’ throughout our country, so thanks for touching on it here. There is great discomfort amongst TPTB (the powers that be) in detailing an American History rife with truths of slavery as if telling the truth will make Americans somehow less patriotic or not willing to live in this country any longer. Imagine if your grandfather was an alcoholic for 50 years and he wrote an autobiography detailing how and why he became an alcoholic and then expressed the intervention(s) that helped him cease being an alcoholic. His story didn’t begin once he quit his self-destructive behavior but it is the ENTIRETY of his story that makes his victory over alcoholism that much greater. We can’t ignore and throw out the parts of the story we don’t like just because it fits or suits a political narrative that those in power want to push. This issue is also multi-faceted because too many people want to ignore the centuries of slavery that got this country to where it is right now. No one wants to be reminded of the sins of our forefathers and yet we are warned if we ignore the past, we are apt to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. It is ridiculously ignorant to claim that slaves were ‘immigrants’ who willingly sailed to America to work plantation fields because there were no job prospects in their native homes and the ‘negroes’ were just too dumb to get work doing anything else once they arrived. You are receiving an insight into truth much earlier than I was exposed to it and I was wrongly under the assumption that HBCUs were actually providing a greater depth of knowledge regarding Black History, but now that I think about old colleagues and friends who attended HBCUs, they never expressed an eye-opening experience of what they learned during their attendance, rather more a point of pride that they were part of a family legacy for a particular HBCU. There is much that I need to research! Thanks for the wonderful post!!!