I don’t quite remember initially when i first heard the words or maybe the young black kid who I last heard utter it, but I do remember the shudder that went through my body each time. Your children were questioning why they had to see school to find the «white man’s education.» Within both cases I never got to give a response, as they weren’t discussing with me, though I desperately planned to. Afterwards I recall thinking that this attitude was probably a developing one among young African Americans. From my very own experiences I really could learn how such nonsense might be attractive, particularly among youngsters mesmerized by street lifestyles and hunting for a slick sounding reason to increase up illiterate and parasitical.
Inasmuch as Forty Million And A Tool’s primary thrust is always to secure our birthright of wealth, it really is equally important to confront the numerous other obstacles standing in the form of our comprehensive advancement; one of which is this obvious psychologically crippling notion that this basic literacy public schools offer our children is somehow harmful, evil or irrelevant. Clearly, this misguided rebellion has its own roots in the legitimate protest against long-standing bias in educational testing and the virtual deficiency of African and African American brilliance in textbooks, understandably. Yet, somehow our little ones have taken it to a degree of lunacy that points our future toward simply defiant self-destruction. The majority of them truly believe that they must rebel with the «white man’s education.»
When I attended elementary school for the majority of the 1960’s really the only blacks I recall learning about were Crispus Attucks, Benjamin Banneker, George Washington Carver and Constance Baker Motley. In the home I knew about other famous blacks like Willie Mays, Nat King Cole and Lena Horne, but didn’t quite get the sense that anything they did was vitally important. It was just the three dead ones and Ms. Motley that this teachers seemed to hold in virtually any esteem. Crispus died for freedom; George did numerous things with peanuts; Benjamin drew plans for constructing the nation’s capitol and produced a clock, while Ms. Motley was a federal judge. Which was it! Anybody else who did anything great or important was white.
In terms of reading, writing, arithmetic and regular school subjects it was actually taught how the Greeks started all this, and that’s the way it stood to me prior to the mid-seventies. It was then which i discovered that the Greeks started minimal of anything; certainly not reading, writing, mathematics, biology, literature, history, philosophy or mythology. The truth is, I learned there was no such thing because the «white man’s education.» Although this is common knowledge now, picture the mix of emotions I experienced after i discovered that the Greeks were educated, among others, by Africans; that Plato, Aristotle as well as others attested to Greece’s indebtedness to Egypt; that Greece’s greatest historian, Herodotus, described these Egyptians as people with «burnt skin and woolly hair.» It turned out by far the most freeing and astonishing feeling I’d ever experienced. It had been even the angriest I’d ever felt; the identical anger, I suspect, our young people feel because they encounter the debilitating effects of an academic system that assigns in their eyes inferior status, both historically and after this.