BN.com Gift Guide

The Mis-Education of the Negro [NOOK Book]

Overview

Originally released in 1933, The Mis-Education of the Negro continues to resonate today, raising questions that readers are still trying to answer. The impact of slavery on the Black psyche is explored and questions are raised about our education system, such as what and who African Americans are educated for, the difference between education and training, and which of these African Americans are receiving. Woodson provides solutions to these challenges, but these require more study, discipline, and an ...
See more details below
The Mis-Education of the Negro

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.49
BN.com price
(Save 16%)$8.95 List Price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

Originally released in 1933, The Mis-Education of the Negro continues to resonate today, raising questions that readers are still trying to answer. The impact of slavery on the Black psyche is explored and questions are raised about our education system, such as what and who African Americans are educated for, the difference between education and training, and which of these African Americans are receiving. Woodson provides solutions to these challenges, but these require more study, discipline, and an Afrocentric worldview. This new edition contains a biographical profile of the author, a new introduction, and study questions.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Sacred Fire

Carter G. Woodson has been called the Father of Modern Black History. He was a central, commanding figure in the study, writing, and teaching of African American history and the first historian to successfully use sound scholarship to refute the prevailing myths and racist views about black Americans and their history. Among his contributions to American life is Black History Month (originally dubbed Negro History Week), which Woodson established to promote the study of African American history.

Woodson&#39s 205-page monograph, The Mis-education of tbe Negro, reflects his profound concern for setting the record straight. His thesis, as outlined in his Preface, could well apply today: "The so-called modern education, with all its defects, however, does others so much more good than it does the Negro, because it has been worked out in conformity to the needs of those who have enslaved and oppressed weaker people." He was concerned with the way African American identity had been warped by racist approaches to history and education; he foresaw the ways that such a warped history would be internalized by black students who would never know of the achievements of their forebears, only of their humiliations and sufferings.

In the book&#39s eighteen chapters, Woodson presents a systematic critique of the education system and offers a plan for change that would create a system that informs black students about their own history and addresses their unique challenges. The

current proliferation of African American studies programs, Afrocentric schools, and multicultural curricula all bear Woodson&#39s stamp. Still, Mis-education remains a biting indictment of a public school system whose promise of education of the masses has still been left sadly unfulfilled.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486130927
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 2/8/2012
  • Series: African American
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 564,842
  • File size: 488 KB

Meet the Author

Carter G. Woodson was the founder of Black History Week. He wrote The Negro in Our History, The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861, A Century of Negro Migration, and The African Background Outlined. He died in 1950. Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu is the author of Lessons from History and Restoring the Village. He lives in Chicago.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

The Mis-Education of the Negro


By Carter G. Woodson

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-13092-7



CHAPTER 1

The Seat of the Trouble


THE "educated Negroes" have the attitude of contempt toward their own people because in their own as well as in their mixed schools Negroes are taught to admire the Hebrew, the Greek, the Latin and the Teuton and to despise the African. Of the hundreds of Negro high schools recently examined by an expert in the United States Bureau of Education only eighteen offer a course taking up the history of the Negro, and in most of the Negro colleges and universities where the Negro is thought of, the race is studied only as a problem or dismissed as of little consequence. For example, an officer of a Negro university, thinking that an additional course on the Negro should be given there, called upon a Negro Doctor of Philosophy of the faculty to offer such work. He promptly informed the officer that he knew nothing about the Negro. He did not go to school to waste his time that way. He went to be educated in a system which dismisses the Negro as a nonentity.

At a Negro summer school two years ago, a white instructor gave a course on the Negro, using for his text a work which teaches that whites are superior to the blacks. When asked by one of the students why he used such a textbook the instructor replied that he wanted them to get that point of view. Even schools for Negroes, then, are places where they must be convinced of their inferiority.

The thought of the inferiority of the Negro is drilled into him in almost every class he enters and in almost every book he studies. If he happens to leave school after he masters the fundamentals, before he finishes high school or reaches college, he will naturally escape some of this bias and may recover in time to be of service to his people.

Practically all of the successful Negroes in this country are of the uneducated type or of that of Negroes who have had no formal education at all. The large majority of the Negroes who have put on the finishing touches of our best colleges are all but worthless in the development of their people. If after leaving school they have the opportunity to give out to Negroes what traducers of the race would like to have it learn such persons may thereby earn a living at teaching or preaching what they have been taught but they never become a constructive force in the development of the race. The so-called school, then, becomes a questionable factor in the life of this despised people.

As another has well said, to handicap a student by teaching him that his black face is a curse and that his struggle to change his condition is hopeless is the worst sort of lynching. It kills one's aspirations and dooms him to vagabondage and crime. It is strange, then, that the friends of truth and the promoters of freedom have not risen up against the present propaganda in the schools and crushed it. This crusade is much more important than the anti-lynching movement, because there would be no lynching if it did not start in the schoolroom. Why not exploit, enslave, or exterminate a class that everybody is taught to regard as inferior?

To be more explicit we may go to the seat of the trouble. Our most widely known scholars have been trained in universities outside of the South. Northern and Western institutions, however, have had no time to deal with matters which concern the Negro especially. They must direct their attention to the problems of the majority of their constituents, and too often they have stimulated their prejudices by referring to the Negro as unworthy of consideration. Most of what these universities have offered as language, mathematics, and science may have served a good purpose, but much of what they have taught as economics, history, literature, religion and philosophy is propaganda and cant that involved a waste of time and misdirected the Negroes thus trained.

And even in the certitude of science or mathematics it has been unfortunate that the approach to the Negro has been borrowed from a "foreign" method. For example, the teaching of arithmetic in the fifth grade in a backward county in Mississippi should mean one thing in the Negro school and a decidedly different thing in the white school. The Negro children, as a rule, come from the homes of tenants and peons who have to migrate annually from plantation to plantation, looking for light which they have never seen. The children from the homes of white planters and merchants live permanently in the midst of calculations, family budgets, and the like, which enable them sometimes to learn more by contact than the Negro can acquire in school. Instead of teaching such Negro children less arithmetic, they should be taught much more of it than the white children, for the latter attend a graded school consolidated by free transportation when the Negroes go to one-room rented hovels to be taught without equipment and by incompetent teachers educated scarcely beyond the eighth grade.

In schools of theology Negroes are taught the interpretation of the Bible worked out by those who have justified segregation and winked at the economic debasement of the Negro sometimes almost to the point of starvation. Deriving their sense of right from this teaching, graduates of such schools can have no message to grip the people whom they have been ill trained to serve. Most of such mis-educated ministers, therefore, preach to benches while illiterate Negro preachers do the best they can in supplying the spiritual needs of the masses.

In the schools of business administration Negroes are trained exclusively in the psychology and economics of Wall Street and are, therefore, made to despise the opportunities to run ice wagons, push banana carts, and sell peanuts among their own people. Foreigners, who have not studied economics but have studied Negroes, take up this business and grow rich.

In schools of journalism Negroes are being taught how to edit such metropolitan dailies as the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times, which would hardly hire a Negro as a janitor; and when these graduates come to the Negro weeklies for employment they are not prepared to function in such establishments, which, to be successful, must be built upon accurate knowledge of the psychology and philosophy of the Negro.

When a Negro has finished his education in our schools, then, he has been equipped to begin the life of an Americanized or Europeanized white man, but before he steps from the threshold of his alma mater he is told by his teachers that he must go back to his own people from whom he has been estranged by a vision of ideals which in his disillusionment he will realize that he cannot attain. He goes forth to play his part in life, but he must be both social and bisocial at the same time. While he is a part of the body politic, he is in addition to this a member of a particular race to which he must restrict himself in all matters social. While serving his country he must serve within a special group. While being a good American, he must above all things be a "good Negro"; and to perform this definite function he must learn to stay in a "Negro's place."

For the arduous task of serving a race thus handicapped, however, the Negro graduate has had little or no training at all. The people whom he has been ordered to serve have been belittled by his teachers to the extent that he can hardly find delight in undertaking what his education has led him to think is impossible. Considering his race as blank in achievement, then, he sets out to stimulate their imitation of others. The performance is kept up a while; but, like any other effort at meaningless imitation, it results in failure.

Facing this undesirable result, the highly educated Negro often grows sour. He becomes too pessimistic to be a constructive force and usually develops into a chronic fault-finder or a complainant at the bar of public opinion. Often when he sees that the fault lies at the door of the white oppressor whom he is afraid to attack, he turns upon the pioneering Negro who is at work doing the best he can to extricate himself from an uncomfortable predicament.

In this effort to imitate, however, these "educated people" are sincere. They hope to make the Negro conform quickly to the standard of the whites and thus remove the pretext for the barriers between the races. They do not realize, however, that even if the Negroes do successfully imitate the whites, nothing new has thereby been accomplished. You simply have a larger number of persons doing what others have been doing. The unusual gifts of the race have not thereby been developed, and an unwilling world, therefore, continues to wonder what the Negro is good for.

These "educated" people, however, decry any such thing as race consciousness; and in some respects they are right. They do not like to hear such expressions as "Negro literature," "Negro poetry," "African art," or "thinking black"; and, roughly speaking, we must concede that such things do not exist. These things did not figure in the courses which they pursued in school, and why should they? "Aren't we all Americans? Then, whatever is American is as much the heritage of the Negro as of any other group in this country."

The "highly educated" contend, moreover, that when the Negro emphasizes these things he invites racial discrimination by recognizing such differentness of the races. The thought that the Negro is one thing and the white man another is the stock-in-trade argument of the Caucasian to justify segregation. Why, then, should the Negro blame the white man for doing what he himself does?

These "highly educated" Negroes, however, fail to see that it is not the Negro who takes this position. The white man forces him to it, and to extricate himself therefrom the Negro leader must so deal with the situation as to develop in the segregated group the power with which they can elevate themselves. The differentness of races, moreover, is no evidence of superiority or of inferiority. This merely indicates that each race has certain gifts which the others do not possess. It is by the development of these gifts that every race must justify its right to exist.

CHAPTER 2

How We Missed the Mark


HOW we have arrived at the present state of affairs can be understood only by studying the forces effective in the development of Negro education since it was systematically undertaken immediately after Emancipation. To point out merely the defects as they appear today will be of little benefit to the present and future generations. These things must be viewed in their historic setting. The conditions of today have been determined by what has taken place in the past, and in a careful study of this history we may see more clearly the great theatre of events in which the Negro has played a part. We may understand better what his rôle has been and how well he has functioned in it.

The idea of educating the Negroes after the Civil War was largely a prompting of philanthropy. Their white neighbors failed to assume this responsibility. These black people had been liberated as a result of a sectional conflict out of which their former owners had emerged as victims. From this class, then, the freedmen could not expect much sympathy or cooperation in the effort to prepare themselves to figure as citizens of a modern republic.

From functionaries of the United States Government itself and from those who participated in the conquest of the secessionists early came the plan of teaching these freedmen the simple duties of life as worked out by the Freedmen's Bureau and philanthropic agencies. When systematized this effort became a program for the organization of churches and schools and the direction of them along lines which had been considered most conducive to the progress of people otherwise circumstanced. Here and there some variation was made in this program in view of the fact that the status of the freedmen in no way paralleled that of their friends and teachers, but such thought was not general. When the Negroes in some way would learn to perform the duties which other elements of the population had prepared themselves to discharge they would be duly qualified, it was believed, to function as citizens of the country.

Inasmuch as most Negroes lived in the agricultural South, moreover, and only a few of them at first acquired small farms there was little in their life which any one of thought could not have easily understood. The poverty which afflicted them for a generation after Emancipation held them down to the lowest order of society, nominally free but economically enslaved. The participation of the freedmen in government for a few years during the period known as the Reconstruction had little bearing on their situation except that they did join with the uneducated poor whites in bringing about certain much-desired social reforms, especially in giving the South its first plan of democratic education in providing for a school system at public expense.

Neither this inadequately supported school system nor the struggling higher institutions of a classical order established about the same time, however, connected the Negroes very closely with life as it was. These institutions were concerned rather with life as they hoped to make it. When the Negro found himself deprived of influence in politics, therefore, and at the same time unprepared to participate in the higher functions in the industrial development which this country began to undergo, it soon became evident to him that he was losing ground in the basic things of life. He was spending his time studying about the things which had been or might be, but he was learning little to help him to do better the tasks at hand. Since the Negroes believed that the causes of this untoward condition lay without the race, migration was attempted, and emigration to Africa was again urged. At this psychological moment came the wave of industrial education which swept the country by storm. The educational authorities in the cities and States throughout the Black Belt began to change the course of study to make the training of the Negro conform to this policy.

The missionary teachers from the North in defense of their idea of more liberal training, however, fearlessly attacked this new educational policy; and the Negroes participating in the same dispute arrayed themselves respectively on one side or the other. For a generation thereafter the quarrel as to whether the Negro should be given a classical or a practical education was the dominant topic in Negro schools and churches throughout the United States. Labor was the most important thing of life, it was argued; practical education counted in reaching that end; and the Negro worker must be taught to solve this problem of efficiency before directing attention to other things.

Others more narrow-minded than the advocates of industrial education, seized upon the idea, feeling that, although the Negro must have some semblance of education, it would be a fine stroke to be able to make a distinction between the training given the Negro and that provided for the whites. Inasmuch as the industrial educational idea rapidly gained ground, too, many Negroes for political purposes began to espouse it; and schools and colleges hoping thereby to obtain money worked out accordingly makeshift provisions for such instruction, although they could not satisfactorily offer it. A few real industrial schools actually equipped themselves for this work and turned out a number of graduates with such preparation.

Unfortunately, however, the affair developed into a sort of battle of words, for in spite of all they said and did the majority of the Negroes, those who did make some effort to obtain an education, did not actually receive either the industrial or the classical education. Negroes attended industrial schools, took such training as was prescribed, and received their diplomas; but few of them developed adequate efficiency to be able to do what they were supposedly trained to do. The schools in which they were educated could not provide for all the experience with machinery which white apprentices trained in factories had. Such industrial education as these Negroes received, then, was merely to master a technique already discarded in progressive centres; and even in less complicated operations of industry these schools had no such facilities as to parallel the numerous processes of factories conducted on the plan of the division of labor. Except what value such training might have in the development of the mind by making practical applications of mathematics and science, then, it was a failure.

The majority of Negro graduates of industrial schools, therefore, have gone into other avenues, and too often into those for which they have had no preparation whatever. Some few who actually prepared for the industrial sphere by self-improvement likewise sought other occupations for the reason that Negroes were generally barred from higher pursuits by trades unions; and, being unable to develop captains of industry to increase the demand for persons in these lines, the Negroes have not opened up many such opportunities for themselves.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson. Copyright © 2005 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
I. The Seat of the Trouble
II. How We Missed the Mark
III. How We Drifted Away from the Truth
IV. Education Under Outside Control
V. The Failure to Learn to Make a Living
VI. The Educated Negro Leaves the Masses
VII. Dissension and Weakness
VIII. Professional Educated Discouraged
IX. Political Education Neglected
X. The Loss of Vision
XI. The Need for Service Rather Than Leadership
XII. Hirelings in the Places of Public Servants
XIII. Understand the Negro
XIV. The New Program
XV. Vocational Guidance
XVI. The New Type of Professional Man Required
XVII. Higher Strivings in the Service of the Country
XVIII. The Study of the Negro
Appendix
Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2005

    Giving birth to an misunderstood culture

    Mis-Education of the Negro is a must read and discussion for all of those who are educators in the field of education. The book seems as thou it was written in todays time, which gives an eye opening to the lack of change in the educational system. Great book of knowledge.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2008

    The Mis-Edducation of the Negro Review

    I find this book to be very interesting. It is a wonderful book. I love many things about this book. It is interesting how the author speaks such strong truths and opinions. It discusses great and intriguing topics about the problems and road blocks in the Negro culture back then where racism was extreme and segregation existed. For example, back then most Negroes wouldn¿t work for another Negro employer, they felt that they were inferior to whites and no better than the other Negroes working under him. I think that many of the problems talked about in this book still exist in Black culture. I recommend this book to pretty much anyone. It shows how it was for Negroes and White people back then.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2007

    awesome

    mr woodson does a superlative job of disabusing the less and more privileged elements of society of false notions about reality. mr woodson makes it very clear that proper education is supreme to miseducation which is actually worse than no formal education at all. miseducation gets its venom from the fact that it masquerades as a tool of improvement in theory while mentally and physically incarcerating unenlightened agents of society in reality. the 'highly educated' negros who are assigned the responsibility of being the saviors of the race are actually racial sycophants who hide behind their credentials, cowardice, and comfort. they are paralyzed as they analyze their current situation and where their next meal will or won't come from if they stand for justice instead of resting on their worthless laurels. such apprehension will ultimately result in the stagnation of a people. woodson contends that the only way to transcend circumstance is through cultivating a generation of thinkers. those who are willing to confront the past, learn the truth of negro history, find true champions of our race(regardless of color) to become our teachers, and stand courageously in the face of tribulation deserve to be our leaders. our moses will not come from without as he did for the israelites, but from within, through scientific study of our race, proper education, and introspection.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 29, 2012

    This is a very informative and helpful book. I have learned a l


    This is a very informative and helpful book. I have learned a lot and seriously recommend that everyone read it!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2001

    Recommended for all races, not just black people.

    This book causes people of all colors to reflect on how they contribute to the demise of society. My favorite chapter is Leadership vs. Service. I now believe that the quality of a leader should be measured by the standard of his service, not how he can delegate orders.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Great read

    Excellent author great book!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2001

    A true must read for all

    This book outlines what education should be. When you begin your educational pursuit, you should know the reason why you are being educated and what you should expect to obtain from your education. Many people go to school because we are 'supposed to'. This book clearly defines what education is!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2001

    food for the soul

    AS ALWAYS I COUNT IT JOY AND VERY MUCH EDUCATIONAL TO HAVE READ THIS MOST RESENT EPISTLE THAT MR. WOODSON HAS BROUGHT TO THE TABLE.AS BLACK MAN I HAVE SEEN FRIST ,HAND THE RESULTS OF THIS MISEDUCATION AND REALIZED THAT WE MUST NOT LOOK TO THE WHITE HOUSE FOR FREEDOM,JUSTICE AND MAJOR HELP, BUT WE MUST LOOK TO GOD AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF SELF.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)