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The African American Holocaust & Mis-education of Black Youth

The African American Holocaust & Mis-education of Black Youth

The African American Holocaust & Mis-education of Black Youth

 The African American Holocaust & Mis-education of Black Youth

“The History of American education abounds with themes that represent the inextricable ties between citizenship in a democratic society and popular education.” — James D. Anderson

 

When I agreed to write The Mis-education of Black Youth in America, I decided to take an alteritous approach to unveiling and discussing the topic. While the public education system plays a prevalent and decisive role in the education of most African Americans, it is not the end all and be all to providing a holistic educational experience for our youth. Additionally, it is not only the substandard academic curriculums that presents the greatest problem, it is the culture that encompasses the system — a culture that underwrites the inferiority complexes of African American students. When it comes to subpar curriculums, I am more concerned with the absence of holistic and accurate accounts of black history that extend beyond slavery and honor the major accomplishments of Blacks, socially, economically, politically and environmentally throughout history.

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The primary theme of Carter G. Woodson’s masterpiece, The Mis-education of the Negro, is that withholding the true and holistic history of any group will culminate in an identity crisis, and when a race of people suffers an identity crisis, they will be begin to fracture along the lines of social responsibility and individual purpose. My goal in writing The Mis-education of Black Youth in America was not simply to point out a nefarious and inadequate educational system, but the failure of African Americans to holistically educate our own, especially in the area of historical significance and racial socialization. There is no sense of identity and purpose on a collective level.

My diacritical approach to addressing the conundrum of mis-educated black youth is meant to illuminate the importance of direct involvement and the importance of developing and understanding the concept of holistic education. In short, holistically educating our youth is the result of seeing beyond the need for academic achievement in order to understand the purpose of education. Education is an empowerment mechanism that is designed to prepare youth to become empowered and productive adults that possess the capacity to initiate and facilitate change within their personal and cultural periphery. Education that does not empower the student is not authentic education, but is actually an illusion of progress that lacks power.

The African American Holocaust & Mis-education of Black Youth

While we must give a considerable amount of attention to the quality of education our children receive in the area of academics, we must see beyond academics to deal with the core issues associated with holistic education, such as knowledge of self. When a child suffers in the area of a diminished or damaged self-concept, they find themselves at a disadvantage in society in general, and in the educational process in specific. It is the proper development of a positive self-concept that results in elevated self-esteem and the belief that anything is possible.

It was actually Thomas Jefferson that asserted that a group or race of people cannot be ignorant and free simultaneously. Freedom cannot be achieved physically if the mind has not first experienced freedom. What we are witnessing at this particular juncture in our journey as a race in this country is the results of exchanging our physical chains for mental ones. Anyone who understands this dynamic will likely agree with my assessment that we are actually in a worse situation in our mental bondage than we were as physical slaves. As long as we continue to expect our oppressor to educate our children, we will continue to be educated downward into docility and conformity. The oppressor will never educate the oppressed to be a threat.

So, I go to great lengths to highlight the many different ways that the black child is being failed in the educational process, not only by the public education system, but, more importantly, by the black community. We must understand that education is a cultural experience, and no system that does not acknowledge the culture in which a child resides can effectively educate that child.

This is why I am an advocate of homeschooling and the development of African American school systems that are operated by African Americans. In the interim of developing these African Americans ran educational operations, I am working with parents to develop African American Parent Advisory Councils to oversee the operation of public school districts in order to ensure that these districts consider the unique needs and gifts of our children. We must learn to use the leverage and power associated with the enrollment of our students. Each student is worth a minimum of $8,000 per year, and can be worth as much as $24,000 per year. Forming a district wide council provides a block of black parents who can collectively leverage the threat of withdrawing their students from the district to force the district to give attention to their concerns.

We must take the lead in educating our children, relinquishing the idea that we are hopeless and helpless to do for our own.

While many people, including many Blacks, suggest that the African American Holocaust has ended and things are improving for blacks, the truth is that the Holocaust is progressing forward at full throttle — through mass incarceration, the disintegration of the African American family, economic castration, political isolation, a welfare state and the mis-education of black youth. It is ultimately going to be up to us to right the ship. We are more than capable, but we must abandon the ideology that we need external help in order to empower and improve ourselves. Every progressive move we make must be autogenous in nature, and we must be holistically engaged. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace, Ph.D.

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