"EDUCATION is the highest form of struggle."
— Dr. John Henrik Clarke
The following is a VERY brief explanation of what stands for education regarding Black, African American and other children of color.
In today's schools all across America, as has been the history of education in the United States all along, all students are taught to internalize a Eurocentric (white) value system of humanity and to perceive the complex nature of civilization and oppression through the rewriting of history.
It is on purpose that throughout every subject matter, be it History, Science, Mathematics, Language and the Arts, the massively important contributions by Africans and other ethnic people of color have been erased, omitted or reduced to little or no significance (except possibly once a year to feature Black and Latino History months).
"The neglect of Afro-American History and distortion of the facts concerning Negroes in most history books, deprived the Black child and his whole race of a heritage, and relegated him to nothingness and nobodyness. This was Carter G. Woodson's conviction as he stated it in this book (The Mis-Education of the Negro— written in 1933) and as he lived by it."
— Charles H. Wesley and Thelma D. Perry, 1969
If you have not read this classic book, or are interested in revisiting Mr. Woodson's prophetic words, the book is freely available on-line.
Click the image to open the website entitled, "History is a Weapon."
It is easy for parents, and even some educators to misunderstand why we urge using the School Cultural Assessment Matrix to determine what kind of education your child is receiving. How does a busy parent assess the quality of education their child is getting, especially when told that the student is at "grade level?" Parents of African American children should be concerned beyond data and statistics, and consider what the child is actually internalizing about him/herself in relationship to being Black and African in America. We are urging parents to be concerned with educating the whole child— the child who knows about— and is proud of their own cultural heritage and the contributions made by our African ancestors to the rest of the world. And because the educational terms: African Centered and Culturally Relevant are often thought to be interchangeable, we hope parents will take the time to question and explore how they are being used in some schools.
— Understanding the Terms —
African Centered Education — As defined by Dr. Wade Nobles in Madhubuti & Madhubuti (1994). African Centered Education (ACE) uses both African and African American cultural precepts, processes, laws and experiences to solve, guide and understand human functioning in the educational process.
Listen to Dr. Wade Nobles on
Reclaiming Education For African People
Culturally Relevant Education — as defined by Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings, involves understanding that students must experience academic success and also develop and/or maintain cultural competence. “Culturally relevant teaching is a pedagogy (meaning: the principles and methods of instruction) that empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally and politically by using cultural references to impart knowledge, skills and attitudes.”
Listen to Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings discuss
Successfully Teaching African American Students