In 2007, one of the most important challenges we face as a people, is to continue our efforts at offsetting our continued miseducation of the contributions of our people from ancient times to the present in all subjects-such as mathematics, science, social studies, language arts, art, and music.
When Black Conservatives use the term education it is important that we define this term, that is so loosely used, to describe a process that has been established in the world for people to acquire levels of knowledge.
Education is a process or system that imparts the dominant values, principles, and beliefs of a given society. Training is the process of learning skills- such as reading, writing, and computation. So we must be clear that there is a difference between education and training.
It should be quite obvious to all conscious Black people, in America, that as Dr. Carter G. Woodson pointed out in his book, The Miseducation of the Negro in 1933, that we have undergone a tremendous miseducation.
According to Dr. Woodson, he stated, "the mere imparting of information is not education. Above all things, the effort must result in making a man or woman think and do for himself or herself just as the Jews have done in spite of universal persecution."
Because of what we see of ourselves often influences what we do about ourselves, the role of education in controlling our thoughts and actions is more important now than ever before. For the last 50 years, Black liberals have supported a traditional public school system that is on the same degree as slavery. Many institutions refuse to even teach the history of African people, yet, they utilize an old factory slave model to educate our children.
The late Dr. John Henrik Clarke instructs us that we need to look behind the slavery curtain in order to see what African people achieved as an independent people before slavery.
Along with miseducation we have the erosion of our family traditions in 2007. Historically, many of our Black Conservative traditions and foundations are most evidenced in our family and community life. Far too many Black people in America are getting away from the essence of family life. The cultural tradition of Black family life is that of the extended family that centers itself on the rearing of children and caring for the elders.
Dr. Asa G. Hilliard writes that "There have always been Africans or Black people in America who have been both physically and mentally free. We have also had far too many of those who have yielded their bodies- and worse, their souls- to people and systems whose purpose was to exploit to take all and give nothing."
This is true.
The challenges that Black people face in America, and throughout the world is to create programs, strategies, and institutions that will reclaim and preserve our rich culture.
One such program that has emerged as one approach to preserving our culture and traditions aimed at our youth is the Rites of Passage Movement. This movement seeks to place Black people at the center of independently working with our young people. There is nothing wrong with this because other races of people do the same. Any Black Conservative who thinks this is racist is lost. Period.
Black Conservatives must demonstrate a high level of mature leadership to lead the way this year of educational reform. It is time for our people to break free from the chains of slavery. Breaking the cap off charter schools to give parents and children options and implementing educational empowerment zones will help redevelop and in many cases repopulate our community.
If we do not conduct a strategic measure to do this then we will continue to miseducate our children into a psychopath of mental slavery.