Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not saying we should go back to the days of the “Colored” and “Whites Only” water fountains, nor am I suggesting we should go back to being legally mandated to sit in the back of the bus. What I am saying, however, is desegregation, while a sound – and shrewd – financial policy for white America, crippled African America, and I sometimes doubt if we’ll ever be able to recover from the damage integration’s done to us.
Let’s take the public so-called education system, as the best of examples. The history curriculum in these schools have never taught our children – nor will they ever teach them – Imhotep was the TRUE father of medicine, NOT Hippocrates. Additionally, law professors will somehow “neglect” to inform their students what they have come to know as the Socratic Method of instruction is actually based on Logic, a SPIRITUAL discipline with roots deep in the soil of the African continent.
Also as students of the public school system (of which many of my colleagues have referred to as the public “fool” system), our children will never be taught THE WORLD’S FIRST UNIVERSITY – the University of Sankore, located in Timbuktu – was founded by an African ruler named Mansa Musa.
It is equally unlikely our children will learn that many of the academic traditions they’ve become familiar with – e.g. the turning of the tassel during a graduation ceremony, and the initial education process taking 12 years to complete [kindergarten through 12th grade] – also have African origins.
And as long as we continue to expect Eurocentric education to teach it to them, they will never learn.
Looking at this objectively, I have to ask, why would a Eurocentric, White Supremacy-based educational model even do such a thing?
It is NOT our oppressor’s job to help empower us. To expect him to use “education” as a mechanism for anything other than our continued subjugation is at best, wishful thinking, and at worst, just plain foolish.
Noted author and scholar Dr. Carter G. Woodson had this to say about the deleterious impact public education has had – and continues to have – on African Americans in his book, The Mis-Education of The Negro:
“The same educational process which inspires and stimulates the oppressor with the thought that he is everything and has accomplished everything worth while, 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 other peoples.”
Woodson also noted:
“The so-called modern education, with all its defects, however, does others so much more good than it does the Negro, because it has been worked out in conformity to the needs of those who have ENSLAVED and OPPRESSED weaker peoples.”
In The Destruction of Black Civilization, author Dr. Chancellor Williams notes:
“The second great tragedy is in the nature of what is called ‘education’. It is mainly rote learning, the ability to memorize phrases, concepts, and other required data. Thinking is neither required nor expected. Critical analysis and evaluation of a subject matter are not required. But the ability to absorb and recall is required. The brilliant scholar, then, is one who can readily quote authorities and remember well his bibliographical sources.”
“I was safe and richly rewarded during my studies in white universities only because I happened not to be so naïve that I expected the viewpoints of the conquerors to be the same as those of the conquered on matters relating to our place in the world.”
With this belief in Black inferiority firmly entrenched in the nation’s educational institutions, African Americans have NO CHOICE other than to work harder on establishing and maintaining our own.
And when we find ourselves logistically or financially unable to do so, we need to do what we can to deprogram our children, and separate them from the Legacy of Inferiority Eurocentric education is DETERMINED for them to inherit.
Thankfully, there are at least a few Soldiers who understand the need for us to educate our own children, and are currently making strides toward creating that reality.
In Seattle, a group of concerned and involved African American parents and community leaders – collectively known as “More 4 Mann” – have set up shop at the historic Horace Mann School, located in Seattle’s Central District.
The Central District was once the nucleus of Seattle’s African American community, and had been for decades, before gentrification came along and displaced nearly all its residents.
Because of closings related to declining student enrollment, the school that once occupied the Horace Mann building – Nova Alternative High School (Nova) – was forced to relocate.
Now that Seattle Public Schools (SPS) claims student enrollment is once again trending upward, they want More 4 Mann to vacate the premises, and “parcel out” their programs so they can re-install Nova, regardless of the fact the school has unequivocally stated it has no desire to return to its former location.
This insultingly contrived showdown has less to do with SPS’ desire to re-open Nova at Mann because the building can accommodate a larger student population, and more to do with their desire to re-open the school so they can accommodate a student population more reflective of the Central District’s emerging demographic – WHITE FOLKS.
Though Mann sat un-used for years (it closed in 2009), and Seattle Public Schools was initially indifferent to the building’s future prospects, once word got out about the quality of the cultural programming and education being given to the Central District’s remaining African and African American children, “suddenly” SPS wants its building back.
Which of course begs the question: “What’s really going on?”
As if we don’t already know…
On the (only slightly) less contentious side of the equation is Kamali Academy. Kamali is “an Afrikan-centered, systematic home school serving elementary, middle, and high school aged students in New Orleans, Louisiana whose philosophy is based on the accumulated wisdom, values, principles, and culture of Afrikan people at home and abroad.”
In a 2012 interview with Asis Chronicle, Kamali Academy founder Baba Dr. Samori Camara says it’s important our children receive an Afrikan-centered education because “sending Black children to European schools, or schools run by European-minded Black people is mentacide”, and that our children need to “see themselves in the curriculum”, in order for the education to be relevant.
Now, what Eurocentric, White Supremacy-infected educational model is going to help our children do THAT?
My thoughts, exactly.