By Frances Murphy (Toni) Draper
In 1933, Dr. Carter Goodwin Woodson wrote his seminal, albeit controversial, book The Mis-Education of the Negro. A weekly columnist for the AFRO and other Black publications, Dr. Woodson argued that the education systems of his day were designed to oppress rather than uplift Black children teaching them that Whites were superior and smarter. “If you teach the Negro that he has accomplished as much good as any other race, he will aspire to equality and justice without regard to race. Such an effort would upset the program of the oppressor in Africa and America. Play up before the Negro, then, his crimes and shortcomings. Let him learn to admire the Hebrew, the Greek, the Latin and the Teuton. Lead the Negro to detest the man of African blood – to hate himself.”
Here we are, nearly 90 years later still lamenting the fact that many of our schools do not adequately and accurately teach Black history as an integral part of American and indeed world history. In fact, some do not teach it at all. And let’s not forget the ongoing debate over teaching critical race theory (CRT). “Critical race theory literally explains why Great Replacement Theory (GRT) exists, but now just days after a White supremacist massacre the same people who created an entire book- banning hysteria around CRT are justifying and promoting GRT. Absolutely shameless. Absolutely shameful,” tweeted Howard University professor Nikole Hannah-Jones after the tragic killing of 10 and wounding of three others in the worse mass shooting in Buffalo, N. Y.’s history.
It is imperative that our history be taught in its entirety. As Dr. Woodson wrote many years ago, “We should emphasize not Negro history, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world, void of national bias, race, hate, and religious prejudice. There should be no indulgence in undue eulogy of the Negro. The case of the Negro is well taken care of when it is shown how far he has influenced the development of civilization.”
On this page are a few of the stories that appeared in the AFRO over the years about or by Dr. Woodson. And, in this special edition, we continue to tell stories that highlight the importance of accurate, culturally relevant education designed to inform, inspire and enlighten people of all races.
White supremacy and rampant racism are still alive and well, and the Black press is needed as much as, if not more than ever. Thanks to our advertisers, sponsors and the entire AFRO team for another stellar special edition.