Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Significance of Fortifying the Educational System in Black Communities

The states of enervation witnessed in other facets of black society, including in areas of business, familial development, etc, are critically congruent with the state of enervation witnessed in education system. The education system in the black community has been renowned for its inefficacy and its inability to inculcate into the black child and adolescent the proper values and enlightenment essential to developing and sustaining an empowered community. This broken educational system that has been entrusted with the duty of edifying our youth with the proper knowledge essential to black empowerment has failed miserably, as witnessed with the low college enrollment rates, graduation rates, and graduate school admissions rates. A system unable to enrich the future generations will breed children bereft of a sense of collective belonging to an ethnic group and henceforth fosters the growth of adults who will possess no grasp of the significance of economic empowerment, intraracial exclusivity and consonance, and general understanding of the magnitude of the contemporary black plight and means of remedying this plight.

It is the unstated goal of those agents of the white supremacist power structure to assert that the cause for such common academic underperformance amongst blacks is attributable innate ineptitude. In 2005, the mean composite mathematic and critical reading score on the Scholastic Apititude Test for African-Americans was just 864, compared with 930 for Hispanics, 1068 for white Americans, and 1091 for Asian Americans. In context of both the historical de jure and de facto denial of education to African-Americans (which today exists in the ongoing denial of access to equal educational opportunities, witnessed in underdeveloped educational systems in black communities) the reason for black underperformance can be understood. While it is critical to identify the cause of such far-reaching predicaments, simple identification of the problem is insufficient and is not a means for excusing oneself from seeking a solution to the existing problem. The legacy of racism intrinsic to Euro-American culture has ensured the continuation of black underdevelopment and social retardation. Anyone who calls themself a devotee to the cause of black self-empowerment should have this quotation engraved upon their grey matter structures. Still, while the white power structure may stand as the culprit in the cause of black educational impoverishment the black community cannot expect the white power structure to, at least not single-handedly (and on its own initiative), eradicate this problem. One cannot expect the white to actively lobby on behalf of the socially atrophied black community because, in their eyes, it would be to undermine their hegemonic establishment. It is the duty of the black to mobilize and formulate a solution to this societal deficiency.

One of the first and foremost reasons for the inefficacy of the Western educational system (for all practical purposes we will, from this point forward, reference the educational system in the black community as the "Western educational system" since the philosophies, techinques, and information taught are all Western in perspective and only "black" in the sense that they are rendered inchoate for distribution in the black community) is its being "Western" and Eurocentric in perspective. The children of the black community are educated in a system established, operated, and influenced (in terms of development of text books, methods of academic administration, and educational resources) almost exclusively by white Americans---the same ethnic group largely responsible for the plight we are in today. Given the lack of regard historically expressed by such a culture it cannot be expected that such a system will have the best interest of the oppressed group at heart. It does not take strong reasoning to figure this. To effect change in the Western educational system of black America will require a concentrated effort on the part of black Americans to 1) utlize government to enact legislation that will support equal distribution of tax dollars to ALL public schools as opposed to the current racist, conservative system that allows wealthy white communities to retain their tax dollars and forces poor black communities to scrape for change to keep schools open, 2) petition schoolboards, textbook publishers, and those involved in the education system to jettison the current Eurocentric cirriculum taught in black communities and incorporate knowledge of black civlizations, languages, and contributions to society AND the instruction of their ideas, and 3) develop independent community-oriented programs to act as a secondary supplement to educational instruction (in the form of afterschool and daycare programs) AS WELL AS programs designed to free current instructors of indoctrination and edify these beacons of knowledge as to the proper and effective ways of educating young black students, encouraging them to have pride in their blackness and Africanness, and encouraging them to pledge devotion to the value of building and maintaining the black community.

The goal of the contemporary American educational system is to sustain white hegemonic control over the United States, the remainder of the Western world, and the remainder of the "third world". The effort of white Americans, particularly conservatives, to oppose "socializing" America is nothing more than an effort at sustaining racial control over black Americans, who they seek to prevent from obtaining any benefits from social programs whatsoever. As difficult and arduous a journey as it has been to enact healthcare reform for the better good of black people (and poorer Americans) it would be even more challenging to nationalize educational standards and equally allocate tax dollars to poorer black communities as well as wealthier white communities. The impoverishment witnessed in the black community has been attributed to the unjust denial of myriad rights---employment, suffrage, housing, economic establishment (such as the ability to buy/sell land and real estate), and education---and yet for blacks to empower themselves and their communities, this most critical area that requires drastic restructuring and reform cannot be improved because blacks, denizens of a society that has been collectively disadvantaged by an oppressive white society and henceforth unable to accrue wealth to create those critical tax dollars for black public schools, receive so little funding to support the proper and efficicent operation of those educational systems. A curcuitous pattern exists---a system that cannot train professionals to acquire wealth cannot put forth the tax dollars to establish or sustain a progressive community. A system that cannot train teachers and indoctrinate them with imperative values pertinent to those individuals that they teach will never inculcate the community with understanding and cultural strength. It is an ongoing cycle that MUST be broken.

Structural racism rendered the black community unable to see the value of educaton. The Western education system traditionally never afforded the proper opportunties to blacks and henceforth to bother pursuing those opportunities was seen as a lost cause. In 1930, an African-American with a Harvard degree had almost no better a chance at success than a black without a high school degree. Times have changed and so must the black collective attitude towards education. Blacks must now begin to understand that education is indeed valuable but we must not act as individualists and simply acquire college degrees and only to assimilate into the white world. Educated black professionals must use their educational skills to support and fortify the black community.

The conscious black must be a pragmatist. We must apply practical means towards solving our community problems. We must take tangible and corporeal means towards effecting change in our community. As members of a mostly democratic government we must voice our concerns, we must stand up, we must let our cries be heard to the powers that be. They must know that we will not stand for injustice and inequality anymore. It is no longer tolerable for blacks, at the end of 2009, to still be so far behind other races who seek to conquer us and determine our fate. We cannot expect others to help us! They never have. They never will. WE are the only ones who can bring about the change that will save our people and Africa.

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