Monday, March 30, 2015

The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Woodson

The Mis-Education of the NegroThe Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Mis-Education of the Negro was originally published in 1933. In it, Woodson outlines what he sees as the repercussions of an ineffective Negro educational system. The book may have been shocking when it was written, but it represents mainstay thought about education, today. The book remains relevant, because even though most agree, as a community, we still have a way to go in putting many of his recommendations into practice. As a modern reader, I appreciated chapters XVII and the appendix the most. In chapter XVII, Woodson says that it doesn’t make sense for Blacks to simple give their vote to one political party.
Any people who will vote the same way for three generations without thereby obtaining results ought to be ignored and disfranchised. As a minority element, the Negro should not knock at the door of any particular political party.

In the appendix, Woodson examines the question of what the race should be called. I don’t think he ever answers the question, but I love the following quote:
It doesn’t matter so much what a thing is called as what a thing is.

Although the topics Woodson covers in chapters VII and the appendix aren’t new, I think he offers an opinion that isn’t often articulated as eloquently and is relevant to a modern discussion.

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