must stop the “Miseducation” of our youth. We must help
our youth to redefine the reality of the institutions that affect us.
The political behavior of a certain sector of Africans in America
leadership in the educational arena should cause us to ask the
question, “What is the real meaning of education?”
is the process of instilling the values of a society, group, nation,
race, or ethnic group. It is the method by which people are taught
the relationship to their families, communities, nation, race, and
the world. Further, education defines the function of society and
strives to help one become an active participant in the growth and
development of a given society, nation, race, and ethnic group. It is
in this context that we understand that education is an important
process in helping a people acquire power for the perpetuation of
should be obvious by now that most African children in America who
attend the public schools of America are not receiving an education.
At best it can be called training. That is, learning the basic skills
of reading, writing, and arithmetic. In many instances, this kind of
training is occurring on a very minimal basis with African children
is important that we consult one of our great educators, Carter G.
Woodson, in helping sum up this awesome problem of education that
keeps Africans in America in a constant state of mental captivity.
Brother Woodson stated in his great book, published in 1933, The Mis-Education of the Negro, that, “The same educational
process which inspires and stimulates the oppressor with the thought
that he is everything and has accomplished everything worthwhile,
depresses and crushes at the same time the spark of genius in the
Negro by making him feel that his race does not amount to much and
never will measure up to the standards of others.” Woodson made
it clear that Africans in America educated in this manner is a
hopeless liability to the race. This is still at the heart of our
educational problem today.
our task becomes one of the continued struggles to re-conceptualize
the mission of education for our people. This re-conceptualization
must be based on the premise that Woodson set forth when he said,
“The race will free itself from exploiters just as soon as it
decides to do so. No one else can accomplish this task for the race.
It must plan and do for itself.” We will never acquire real
power if this does not happen.
our mission should be that of establishing our own educational agenda
that is based on creating a new educational ethos. The present ethos
instills in African children in America the idea that if you go to
school and get an education you will get a job. We should know by now
that there is not necessarily a correlation between going to school
and getting a job. It definitely has nothing to do with the
upliftment of our race.
task of re-conceptualizing a new educational ethos is to understand
that the mission of our education should be to make a whole people
again as the Reparations Movement is demanding. Making us whole again
is a process that defines education in the context of our own
political, economic, cultural, and spiritual needs.
new educational ethos must rest on the idea that the group interests
of our race are more important than those of any individual. Dr.
Anderson Thompson calls this the “African Principle.” In
other words, the only way we will become liberated and independent is
through group thinking and group actionC not as individuals. We must
work to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number.
stated, our purpose for becoming educated should be one of helping to
build a movement to liberate us from the oppression of white
supremacy and racism so that we can build a new social, political,
cultural, economic, and spiritual order for ourselves as we struggle
to link up with African people around the world.
kind of education must facilitate the re-stimulation of the extended
African in American family foundation as we struggle to become an
economically self-sufficient people who produce, process, distribute,
wholesale and retail like everyone else in the world.
this new educational ethos must instill in us the spirit of
producing, the spirit of building, and the spirit of controlling what
we create. Anything short of this will merely mimic the education of
our oppressors and we will continue to be their subjects, to do and
be whatever they choose.