'THE MIS-EDUCATION OF THE NEGRO'

Re-Examining History's Remaining Questions

 

 

 

Historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson wrote in his seminal work, "The Mis-Education of the Negro”, that “history shows that it doesn’t matter who is in power or what revolutionary forces take over the government, those who have not learned to do for themselves and to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they had in the beginning.”

 

It is no secret history has a way of repeating itself.

 

Recent events that seem like recurring story arcs seem to reemphasize the notion of understanding the role history plays in effective decision-making. Think of all the times that history has been neglected and overlooked.

 

 

Ask the question: “why didn’t we know this sooner?” “Why haven’t we learned this in school?”    “Who’s responsible for making sure this history is being taught?”

 

These are all valid questions but the unfortunate truth is oftentimes, the teaching and learning of history becomes the responsibility of those who are not well versed in it enough to recommend the best model to teach the subject matter. There are countless debates within school districts on what their students are being taught. Where do these debates lead to? More investigation and discussion but not enough action.

Who says it should fall on the shoulders of the education system to teach a community about their history? Who says in order to place any value on a person’s role in pushing the culture forward, it has to be in an education capacity? While this is not the majority conversation, it should be noted that when it comes to looking at “realistic” ways to change the “system”, the emphasis is pointed in the direction of a teacher when there are many other occupations at play that define the system such as public administration, news/media outlets, business & entrepreneurship, healthcare, and the creative arts.

 

Every year, there are countless surveys done on the number of African American men and women in these respective fields. Every year, there are countless surveys done on the number of African American men and women in education levels, from elementary to Ph.D.  Depending on which study is emphasized determines the respectability of those fields.

 

Scholars and journalists alike have written several accounts of an overemphasis of African Americans in the prison systems then there are in the education system. There is an overemphasis of athletic ability over academic ability. Clearly, this is not news.

 

Then why are the same results being proven?

 

 

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