Education Then and Now ( The Former & New African Slave)

Before, during and after the Reconstruction period the one aspect or factor that the former African slaves in America felt was imperative to their freedom was education. They understood all too well what an important  part it played in acquiring freedom because without it they would remain in perpetual bondage. Education to them represented independence and a direct pathway to power and true freedom…You see, an uneducated people will always be an ignorant and dependent people subject to the mercy of those who are educated and exert  power over them…

John Hendrik Clarke said; “A powerful people cannot afford to educate the people that they oppress because once you are truly educated you will not ask for power, you will take it”.

This is an extremely profound and poignant truthful statement because it speaks to the deviated shrewd connivance of white folks and their attempt to maintain power and the enslavement of African people in perpetuity..

The former African slave understood that absolute freedom could not be attained without first and foremost educating the mind and soaking up knowledge. They were able to grasp its significance early on and made a decision to dedicate and immerse themselves into the process of educating themselves and their children.. They would build schools and conduct classes wherever they could and utilize whatever books and learning materials that were available.. Most of the classrooms were just dusty dilapidated old shacks absent of desks and chairs and churches.. They were not afforded the conventional tools that the white schools provided their children with but they were nonetheless undeterred from the mission at hand..

Teachers traveled from different parts of the country to lend their attributes and training to what they considered a paramount and worthy cause… The education of the free African…To a large degree the education was welcomed and consumed wholeheartedly, but for some it was seen as a detriment and a waste of time because of prejudice and ignorance.. This feeling was shared by some former slaves and indeed most whites in America..The whites felt that the Africans brains were too small and lacked the capacity of digesting the curriculum or academia.. ( I believe they feared that the education of the African would pose a threat to their dominance)..Some African scholars even thought it to be skewed because it was education that was being delivered to Blacks by whites.. These African scholars and African men of prominence chided or criticized the methods that were implemented which sometimes lead to friction between them…..Sound familiar??

Nevertheless there were a great deal of Africans who had a thirst for education and knowledge and would not allow themselves to be dissuaded. They understood all too well the power of education and economics and the independence it could provide them.. They embarked on a mission to educate their own, become independent of whites and some would venture on to create and build their own economy… Many of these former slaves would flourish far beyond what any white man or former slave could have ever envisioned…

Too many  African/Black youths shy away from education and knowledge..There is a huge void in their mindset when it comes to understanding the necessity for it.. We have developed this inexplicable uncharacteristic disdain for learning and we fail to realize how much of a prerequisite it is for building wealth, power and independence.. Many of our youths have been brainwashed into believing that education is a white man’s culture and they reject it. Just how ignorant is that? A rebuff of education to avoid becoming like the so-called white man is a shameful and lame excuse…So they would rather remain, poor, ignorant, uneducated, and dependent on others….A life of uncertainty and unnecessary turmoil.. That sure makes a lot of sense!!

Why is it that many of our youths willfully (some influenced by others) choose not to board the train of education and knowledge?  Why do they adapt this negative mindset and attitude that derails their lives and leads them  on a journey to nowhere? Little do they realize that education is the key to unlocking the chains of mental bondage and dependence and opens the door that can lead to liberation and success…

As it stands right now, the white man need not worry about most of today’s African/Black man because he is doing the white mans bidding for him and poses no real threat due to a lack of education, knowledge, and principles……

Written by; Alton T. DeVeaux Jr. (Africafifth)

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