Education and educating is the cornerstone for all mental and conscious growth. Since slavery, education was taken out of the hands of the people we identify with and put into the hands of the oppressors. This education bred conflicts between the field Negro and house Negro thought process. This educating of blacks from their oppressors has also left the blacks dependent on others to tell them what is and is not important, what is and not their culture and what is and not true. When your oppressor teaches you, you will be subjected to ideas and beliefs of them.
Investing in our education allows blacks to teach other blacks ideas to enhance their people and community. Having educators who understand the struggle and plights of the black community can gear lectures and teachings directed to problematic areas that we are currently not getting help in from the current education structure. Educating black youth about business structure, banking, inflation etc. are adequate subjects to explore for the black community. Exposing blacks to enterprises and careers that promote community self-sustainment such as agriculture, health, construction etc. allows the black community to build its self to an independent establishment.
One of the worse things we have done with integration is abandon our institutions that held our students during times where others didn’t want us. In the 1960s HBCU enrollment was at 90%, today it is at a mere 12% with HBCUs continuously being closed down due to lack of funding. The fight for integration should’ve instead been a fight for resources and funding to match predominately white institutions. Integration and the abandonment of our institutions has also led to dependency of blacks to be taught by people who do not share their culture, plight or challenges.
Educating blacks about our history gives the youth a chance to see what we were before slavery, and what we have to endure to over come the challenges from slavery. Historical facts about blacks have also been looked over to ensure not to inspire a culture about what they could become again and to psychologically remain under control. Instead we are being forced to learn about people who are believed to be key contributors of America, while leaving out their and America’s dark history and that includes people whose intentions were for slavery purposes. One of the best known examples of this is Christopher Columbus, who (through the current education system) is regarded as the founder of America, when in reality he was not the founder of America because it was already inhabited and his purpose was to find an easier way to the West Indies for slave trade, but yet America saw fit to ensure this man, this criminal, has a holiday dedicated to him. Very seldom do you see history classes teaching about Black Wall Street, Malcolm X, and Marcus Garvey etc. because these figures of black culture weren’t as submissive as others. In fact most African-American figures are not taught throughout the year but are saved for black history month. In a black institution this would not be the case because there would be a teaching of our history and not just subjected to one month of guilt lessons (meaning they are only teaching these subjects because of the month).
Teaching our youth about politics allows our youth to have ambitions of higher positions to influence decisions and policies that currently aim to belittle our community. Political power and education helps blacks gain voice within policy decisions and the political realm/discussions that may impact the black community. Having a Black president is only good for image if he is not representing us when there is a direct attack on our skin color but educating youth early about their culture mixed with political agendas gives a more political awareness from people who do not hide behind providing comfort, but rather provide equal opportunity and a strong voice for our people.
Education needs to be at the forefront of our independency and growth of our economics. We must begin to educate our youth about investing, owning businesses, real estate etc. We must start encouraging our youth and young adults to start attending black colleges again, to be taught by people who can closely relate and help gain attention to where we need growth, stability, and financial support. We must begin to educate our youth about the various careers out there besides the entertainment and sports industry. We must become more political aware and investing in those politicians who see our challenges best and is looking to help overcome them. If we leave us to be educated by others we will never understand whom we are and who we can become.