The Miseducation of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

The mere imparting of information is not education.

“When you control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his “proper place” and will stay in it.”

After a year of underrating and hesitating to read the book “The Miseducation of the Negro” due to its small size, I finally decided to read it. I’d realized how much I’d judged a book by its cover upon completing the first paragraph. And as I finished the first chapter, I then concluded that this is a book that demands a thorough studying.

Carter Godwin Woodson is the author of the book, which was first published in 1933 in the United States of America. The author was born in December 1875, in New Canton, Virginia, United States.

Carter Godwin Woodson was an American historian, author, journalist, and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He was one of the first scholars to study the history of the African diaspora, including African-American history. A founder of The Journal of Negro History in 1916, Woodson is the “father of black history” due to his diligent work in researching and teaching the history of the race. In February 1926 he launched the celebration of “Negro History Week”, which later became the Black History Month.

As a son of former slaves, Woodson had to put off schooling while he worked in the coal mines of West Virginia. He made it to Berea College, becoming a teacher and school administrator. He gained graduate degrees at the University of Chicago and in 1912 he became the second African American, after W. E. B. Du Bois, to obtain a PhD degree from Harvard University. Most of Woodson’s academic career was spent at Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, D.C. where he eventually served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

One of the things I find most intriguing about C.G. Woodson is that he obtained his diploma in two years.

As I sat down studying the book, I could not help myself from seeing that what he wrote in almost 90 years ago are still very valid today.

“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.”

As a black man born in Nigeria. ‘’The Miseducation of the Negro’’ gave me a new insight into the social, religious, and economic division that we suffer in my home country. A country where everything from white people sets the measure of good quality and high standard, a mentality that has been choking the local economy long before I was born. This behaviour is what Fela Anikulapo refers to as ‘’colonial mentality.’’

The book also contains the religious division and corruption among Negro Christians in the United States of America before and during the author’s days. To me, it felt as if he was writing about Nigeria’s religious chaotic scene of today where there is more church noise on a Sunday morning in the city of Lagos than in the whole of Britain.

His analysis of the education system is where the author swayed me into thinking about the sea of jobless schooled people of our day. Many have inherited the oppressive behaviours of the designers of the systems which was intended to glorify everything about them (the colonisers) and to disapprove or ignore the unique cultures, medicines, arts, philosophies, literature, cuisines, and the fashion of the people of African blood. A self-hate culture that is planted deep in the subconsciousness of today’s ‘’Miseducated Negroes.’’

In this thought-provoking book, Woodson flashed a bright light on the origins of the barriers that the Black People of today are facing, and how they can rise above such predicaments.

The Miseducation of the Negro is a book that should be taught in every school with Black students, and discuss in every Black Family homes across the world.

For the sake of sharing this critical knowledge, I have decided to give out five copies of the book. To get a copy, write a comment below, and end your comment with #blackknowledge, and then head to our Youtube channel and leave a comment below the video I made about the book with #blackknowledge at the end of your comment. The winners will be announced in a week time. If you live very far away from me, I will send you a gift card to get a copy for yourself.

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