The Education of Black Children
One of the things that keep the black community where it is now is our failure to take our children’s education into our own hands. Black people seem to be content to let the white dominated American society teach our children reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, and last but most importantly, history.
The children of Africa have a rich history that is barely mentioned in the study of world cultures in grade school, elementary school, and barely in high school. And if a student has the luxury of learning African history more than likely it is from the perspective of people who have experienced squat with Africa, the Africans, or the African culture, unless it was from a perspective of subjugation. Most studies of Africa are limited to just two areas; the north with Egypt and the south with the racist nation of South Africa.
I hope somebody will correct me if I’m wrong, but we’ve been subtly taught to think that the only thing notable to come out of “the dark” continent are the pyramids and the Sphinx. Look at a Brandon Frazier movie and you’d be led to believe that white people from England are the true heirs to the throne of Egypt. Let Charlton Heston tell the story and everyone in Egypt in the days of Moses was a European with nary a dark skinned brother or sister in sight.
White people teach the story of the enslavement of the Africans as if it was nothing more than a bad experience in America’s history without the impact of the horror and misery the children of Africa were subjected to. And it is this experience that laid the foundation to the relationship between the black and white communities here in America. It’s no wonder so many people, black and white, are unable to grasp its impact to the culture of the African American.
All our children know of the struggle of black rights movement is little more than that the late, great President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, Rosa Parks sat on the bus and refused to give up her seat, and Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. But, the struggle for the African American to obtain equality in America can be its own major study in college. Each and every black person should have the opportunity to say that he/she has a Bachelor of Arts in Civil Rights Studies. White people want to acknowledge our contribution to American history with a black history month. We should be spending our entire lives learning black history.
Or even better we need to retake control of our own children’s education. The vast majority of our black children are taught by public and private school systems that are deeply committed to the status quo of black and white relations. Why else would Shaquanda Cotton get a seven year sentence for shoving a hall monitor while the white students, who perform much more serious offenses, get off with a slap on the wrist with probation or, even worse, go completely free of any charges?
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. The education system is one of the most pervasive cradles ever known to man. Our children are subjected to board of education propaganda for as much as six hours a day, five days a week, nine months out of the year, from kindergarten, elementary school, high school, and on through college. White people would like to spread their misinformation to the point that they want their belief that god created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh taught as science. Intelligent design they call it. It sounds more like intelligent manipulation.
And then we wonder why so many of our young black children don’t identify with black issues. After so many years of white people subtly and explicitly telling our children that they are second rate because of their history, their neighborhoods, their parents, their DNA, and/or their skin color there should be no speculation as to why black children may grow up confused, lost, and disassociated from the black experience.
As black parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and whatever we constantly berate our children to get good grades and submit to their education. We push our children into the very institution most capable of stripping their African American identity away from them and then replacing it with a generic, semi-European, identity of assimilation and second rate citizenship as a bonus. School teaches our children the value of materialism, consumerism, conformism, patriotism, European-ism, and the like.
Let black people stand together and stop the bamboozlement of our future. It’s about time our children learned true African American history, African American culture, African American pride, African American independence, African American patriotism, and the like. It’s not something to celebrate for the month of February. It’s not something to remember at the end of the year with seven candles. It’s something that should be studied and remembered our entire lives.
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. It’s about time black people started rocking our own cradles so we can rule our own world.