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The Great Debaters Essay

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    The Miss Education of the African –American: Past, Present, and Future From the beginning, Whites’ in America have exploited Negros’. “Upon landing in Africa, White Americans were welcomed and given a feast (James W. Loewen)”. Whites Americans played on the greed of tribal chiefs’ Africans traded their own people into slavery for goods. When the true nature of the White American was realized it was too late to stop them. Slavery had afforded White America with free labor as well as a new source of economy.

    White Americans’ kept coming back they stole Native Africans’ from their homes and shipped them to a new land in which they called the New World the “Americas”. Africans were marched naked thru the streets to what was known as the “market” where they were put on auction blocks and sold to the highest bidder. Slave traders broke up families, thereby breaking down the family structure. Africans were no longer permitted to speak their own language nor were they to speak of the past so thereby the Africans that were enslaved by slave traders eventually lost their heritage and their identities.

    They became common “chattel” to White America. Slaves were not permitted to read or write. Slave owners believed that a “Dumb nigger is a peaceful nigger” (Fredrick Douglas). Slave owners denied slaves the right to read and write. They kept slaves ignorant. Slave owners knew that learning brings knowledge and knowledge breeds power. On August 6th 1861 slaves were declared “contraband of war”, and if found to be contraband, they were declared free. During the Civil War schools were organized to teach the newly freed men, women, and children to read and write thus starting an education process of thousands of Negro’s.

    January 1st 1863 President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that declared all slaves within the confederacy were free. Then there came the Jim Crow Law. Jim Crow was the name of the racial caste system which operated primarily, but not exclusively in southern and border states, between 1877 and the mid 1960s. Under Jim Crow, “Blacks” were relegated to second class citizens. There were separate hospitals, prisons, churches, cemeteries, public restrooms, and schools. In most instances “Colored Only” facilities were grossly inferior. Negro people are not just a color. We are what holds the fabric together…. As long as schools are segregated Negros’ will receive an education which is both separate and unequal… . (Samantha Booke)”. For example in 1935 “The state of Oklahoma spent five times more on the education of a white child then it spent to educate a colored child. That means better text books for that child then for that child… . When is the right time for whites and coloreds to walk in the same halls…(Samantha Booke)”.

    On May 17th 1954 “Brown vs- Board of education” we won the right to attend all White schools. It was the beginning of a new era. The fabric of the Jim Crow laws was tearing apart. We won the right to go to all white schools to have the same education as white southerners . Yet we do not take advantage of it. They no longer separate us out right by color, they now do it demographically, the schools that are in minority neighborhoods are inferior to the ones in Caucasian neighborhoods. The world, in which African-Americans live in today, is said to be better than their yesteryears’.

    African-Americans in their yesteryears’ were enslaved against their will their bodies adorned with shackles and chains as they were brought and sold. Whereas African-Americans today are no longer in chains, yes the shackles that adorned their bodies, so long ago are no longer there. And yet African-Americans are still in bondage. We are in bondage of ignorance, our minds are shackled, and our thoughts are in chains. We as African- Americans must stop concentrating on the wrongs that were visited upon our ancestors.

    We must not let the suffering, and hard work of those who fought for our Freedom, and our Civil Rights be in vain“…Education is the only way out, the way out of ignorance… (Reverend James Farmer sr)” . We have to impress upon our youth the importance of education, the importance of having a career, and not just a job. “…We must impress upon our young people that there will be difficulties that they will face, they must defeat, then they must do what they have to do in order to do what they want to do…” (Reverend. James farmer sr. ). We must not let the pain, suffering and hard work of those who ought for, freedom, and our civil rights be in vain. The World in which we as African- Americans live has come full circle. Rosa Parks was the catalyst for the boycott for the right to ride in the front of the bus. Yet that is the first place that African-American youth want to be. Medgar Evers and countless others fought for the right for African- Americans to vote and yet they do not fully take advantage of this right. White Americans’ are no longer out right beating, lynching or taking African-Americans into fields and shooting them down in the name of “Justice”.

    Police are now ,beating us on the streets “still”, now, instead of lynching they beat and sodomize minorities in their custody. Police are “still” shooting us down in cold blood on the streets. “Still” in the name of “justice”. Remember Rodney King, Abner louima, and Shawn Bell. Do not let the fight that Oliver Brown and thirteen other parents took to the Board of Education in 1951 be in vain. African-American children again, do not have the same books in their schools as most White Americans’ have in theirs.

    Yet we do not fight the system that seeks to destroy the education of the African-American child. We as African- Americans must stand up for our rights “again” to have the same quality of education in our schools as most White Americans have in theirs. We must always remember “The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow”. , Bibliography Booke, Samantha, 2008 , The Great Debaters Douglas, Fredrick, Learning to Read and Write. Sr. Farmer, James Reverend, 2008 , The Great Debaters Loewen, James W. ,Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything your American History Textbook Got Wrong.

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