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Woodson's classic work of criticism explores how the education received by blacks has failed to give them an appreciation of themselves as a race and their contributions to history. Woodson puts forward a program that calls for the educated to learn about their past and serve the black community. (Education/Teaching)
“The Education of the Negro,” by Carter Godwin Woodson, is an essential preface to his minor masterpiece, “The Mis-Education of the Negro.” Though often confused, these are two separate books. In “The Education of the Negro,” Woodson addresses the education of African Americans prior to the Civil War—a period of time that is not usually addressed or taught. In contrast, “The Mis-Education of the Negro” addresses African American education from the Civil War period on.In the words of one reader, “Anything Woodson writes is a winner. I have enjoyed his other books as well. He can be highly controversial at time which lends such extraordinary flavor to his books. Enjoyed it and recommend it to all.”“The Education of the Negro” is a must read for anyone interested in African American history, as well as anyone planning to read Woodson's classic sequel, “The Mis-Education of the Negro.”
This book ought to be required reading for every teacher, educator, administrator, and parents who intereact with children of African descent. Woodson's work helps us understand that African peoples are truely mis-educated. We largely receive an Eurocentric or White middle class, elitist education that by and large does not serve the needs of our communities. This mis-education creates a serious identity crisis on the part of African youth and it causes many Black "educated" middle class people to spend more time trying to reach the consumer American Dream rather than working toward a real self-determination agenda of African peoples. Thus it's of little suprise today that most African students never enroll in a course on African/African-American studies. In fact, these courses are becoming more rare in high school and colleges across the nation. Even with the current renaissance of Black literature in this country, the study of African/Black culture, politics, and spiritual life are rarely discussed. In Woodson's words: "Real education means to inspire people to live more abundantly, to learn to begin with life as they find it and make it better, but the instruction so far given Negroes [and still today] in colleges and universities [and elementary and secondary schools] has worked to the contrary. In most cases such graduates have merely increased the number of malcontents who offer no program for changing the undesiriable conditions about which they complain. " Woodson's book is clearly not out-dated. In fact, it reads as if it were published last year, instead of 1933. I would like to close this response to Woodson's work with another classic quote from him: "If you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a person feel that he/she is inferior, you do not have to compel him/her to accept an inferior status, he/she will seek for it. If you make a person think he/she is a justly outcast, yoiu do not have to order that person to the back door, that person will go without being told, and if there is no back door, the very nature of that person will demand one."
Originally released in 1933, "The Mis-Education of the Negro" continues to resonate today, raising questions that readers are still trying to answer. The impact of slavery on the Black psyche is explored and questions are raised about our education system, such as what and who African Americans are educated for, the difference between education and training, and which of these African Americans are receiving. Woodson provides solutions to these challenges, but these require more study, discipline, and an Afrocentric worldview. This new edition contains a biographical profile of the author, a new introduction, and study questions.
Book Includes: The Mis-education of the Negro, Stolen Legacy and The Willie Lynch Letter
"The Mis-Education of the Negro," originally published in 1933 by Dr. Carter Godwin Woodson, is arguably his greatest book. The thesis of "The Mis-Education of the Negro" is that African Americans of his time were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than taught, in American schools. This conditioning, he claims, causes African-Americans to become dependent and to seek out inferior places in the greater society of which they are a part. He challenges his readers to become autodidacts and to "do for themselves," regardless of what they were taught. "The Willie Lynch Letter" written by Willie Lynch is widely considered to be one of the top 100 most controversial books of all time. For many, "The Willie Lynch Letter" is required reading for various courses and curriculums. And for others "The Willie Lynch Letter" is simply a highly controversial book that they must have as a reference tool and for self enlightenment. This beautifully produced volume, which includes both "The Mis-Education of the Negro" and "The Willie Lynch Letter," should be a part of everyone's personal library.
The Mis-Education of the Negro and Stolen Legacy

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