History shows that to be black and educated was a NO! NO!. In order to keep a group of people in bondage, ignorance had to be the tool to control a people into believing that they had no rights and that their lives didn’t matter. To be educated in those days meant that an African-American child and/or adult would become a potential threat.
They knew education was the key to success and that once a man, woman and child became educated the chains of bondage and slavery would no longer hold any value….
Pictured above is a photo taken from one of my many book collections at my home of a group of African-American children sneaking to read a book. As I sat and ate dinner I glanced at the picture of black children studying their lessons on a Southern street corner in 1867 (The Encyclopedia of African-American Heritage, 1997). It was said that African-American children usually were required to attend segregated schools, when and if they were allowed to attend at all. Inspite of the difficulties they faced a number of African-Americans were not only literate but managed to acquire college educations.
To be Black and Educated means everything to me. On this day Tuesday February 4, 2014 I still can not wrap my mind around the thought of having to actually hide just to read a book. I can’t even think of myself living in a time where my skin color dictated what I deserved as a human being. I admire those who have fought the good fight, even at a time where fighting for anything was prohibited by law. I look around at the youth and even some of my peers today and I wonder was all that fighting and marching for naught.
Did our people get spit on and called names for us to turn our backs on the resources and free education we have today. They would have given everything to be Black and Educated…
All the fights for freedom to just want to read and be educated just like any other child and this generation takes it for granted. It irks me to the core when I over hear someone say ” Why you talk like that, you trying to talk white” Now how ignorant is that? speaking eloquently and clearly is not a ‘White Only’ thing? I’m guessing blacks are supposed to sound uneducated and ignorant while other races are supposed to speak well and form sentences correctly (In my sarcastic voice) This is why so many of my people fail to reach the next stage in life mentally and spiritually because the mindset is on material gain as trophies and reality television as a role model.
In the photo of the Tuskegee University students in 1902 I see blacks who dared to be educated. I see blacks who took on the humiliation and dehumanization just to be able to read. I see blacks who just wanted to make have a better life than what their parents had. I pray that this generation 2014 and beyond will inherit the same tenacity and resilience they’ve shown. Talent and good looks can only get us but so far. It’s the education that’s the firm foundation to have the good in life. All that fighting just to be Black and Educated